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The Name Discussion

I’d like to start a discussion about the naming of our combined software platform.

Currently, there is not much unity or consensus in the name used to refer to our platform.

It has been called:

  • Qubes + Whonix
  • Whonix Qubes
  • Qubes Whonix
  • Whonix on top of Qubes
  • etc

[hr]

I’d like to consider the naming used in the context of various stakeholders.

Our OS platform is based upon the combined usage of Qubes and Whonix, where Whonix is used as a VM template within the Qubes system.

People look to Qubes for state of the art endpoint security.
People look to Whonix for state of the art internet anonymity.
People look to our combined platform for the synergistic benefits of both.

Qubes developers seem to primarily specialize and prioritize on Qubes endpoint security first.
Whonix developers seem to primarily specialize and prioritize on Whonix internet anonymity first.
Our combined platform is developed with both priorities at the top of mind.

A majority of the development is being done here in the Whonix community.
The primary Whonix repositories for Qubes are now being hosted by the Qubes team.

So Qubes and Whonix are separate projects and separate stakeholders.
But our sub-project bridges the two together, especially in the context of outside users perspective.

[hr]

Last year, I originally referred to our platform as “Qubes + Whonix”.

My reasoning for this choice was to have the name describe what this combined platform is (using Qubes plus Whonix together), so that outside people could “get it” fairly quickly, as well as having brief name to identify with.

Also, the “Qubes + Whonix” name was originally used ~10 months before I started working on this platform, over on the qubes-devel mailing list by another one of our Whonix community members @JasonJAyalaPhttps://groups.google.com/d/topic/qubes-devel/2vnGqsoM9p0

I also chose “WhonixQubes” as my pseudonym for this project.

Into our initial porting effort last year, @Patrick began referring to our platform as “Whonix Qubes”.

I have since used “Qubes + Whonix” and “Whonix Qubes” interchangeably.

@nrgaway then came along and built a stellar native version of our combined platform. He’s used the various terms we’ve used as well, but has also begun referring to the platform as “Qubes Whonix” recently.

One issue that I thought of, keeping multiple stakeholders in mind, is that it may not be enjoyed by all stakeholders to use certain naming conventions.

For example, it is often an established convention to put the controlling company’s brand name before a specific product name.

For example:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Office
  • Apple OS X
  • Apple iOS
  • Apple iPhone
  • Google Android
  • Google Chrome
  • etc

So I wanted to also check the care and sensitivity to such perceived naming conventions.

“Whonix Qubes” may be perceived as Qubes being “controlled” by Whonix?

“Qubes Whonix” may be perceived as Whonix being “controlled” by Qubes?

“Qubes + Whonix” may help avoid such an issue, while still having a concise name to bridge the two combined platforms, as the (+) plus sign visually separates the two project names and descriptively indicates that they are used in a combined way together.

Also when choosing a name for a project/product, it can be nice to have it sound and appear relatively appealing and catchy to people to represent itself in public.

Personally, I subjectively think that…

“Qubes + Whonix” looks and sounds better than “Whonix + Qubes”

“Whonix Qubes” looks and sounds better than “Qubes Whonix”

And phrases like “Whonix on top of Qubes” seem like more of a descriptive phrase to me than a concise “name”.

Another feature of “Qubes + Whonix” is that we can dynamically add-on to the Whonix portion of this name with variants of Whonix that may be implemented in the future.

For example:

  • Qubes + Whonix Debian
  • Qubes + Whonix Fedora
  • Qubes + Whonix Hardened Gentoo
  • etc

[hr]

Personally, if creating a standard, I’d choose…

“Qubes + Whonix” – especially with the majority of still uninitiated external public in mind.

or secondarily

“Whonix Qubes” – based on the subjectively appealing flow of it.

[hr]

Of course, everyone is free to independently refer to things as they please. Just thought it might help for the future of our project to make these considerations and potentially land upon a more enlightened consensus for the standard name.

Subjectively, I would go for Whonix Qubes (Gentoo Whonix Quebes) since I’m unsure about the “+” characters.

Dunno.

Examples that I’ve seen or used or we may need in past.

  • Whonix-Gateway
  • Whonix-Workstation
  • Whonix-Download/Default-Workstation
  • Whonix-Custom-Workstation
  • Whonix-Debian-Workstation
  • Whonix-Custom-Ubuntu-Workstation
  • Whonix-Gentoo-Hardened *
  • Whonix-VPN-Gateway (as per https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Support)
  • Whonix-proxy-Gateway
  • Whonix-i2p-Gateway

Hard to get the right naming schema that can cover all the existing combinations and potential future ones (live, Qubes live etc).

  • (Usually they write Hardened Gentoo, but I’d argue that Gentoo is the more important word here. Put Gentoo in front, because it would be a Whonix that is based on Gentoo. Not a specially hardened version of Whonix.)

Thanks for weighing in, Occq.

The (+) sign has been used around the net to describe other software combinations such as this.

But how one feels towards it is indeed another story.

Whonix Qubes subjectively flows for me better too.

However, I’m unsure about it’s newbie clarity, project politics, and derivative scalability.

[quote=“Patrick, post:3, topic:796”]Dunno.

Examples that I’ve seen or used or we may need in past.

  • Whonix-Gateway
  • Whonix-Workstation
  • Whonix-Download/Default-Workstation
  • Whonix-Custom-Workstation
  • Whonix-Debian-Workstation
  • Whonix-Custom-Ubuntu-Workstation
  • Whonix-Gentoo-Hardened *
  • Whonix-VPN-Gateway (as per https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Support)
  • Whonix-proxy-Gateway
  • Whonix-i2p-Gateway

Hard to get the right naming schema that can cover all the existing combinations and potential future ones (live, Qubes live etc).[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback, Patrick.

Such derivative examples seem to scale much better with the baseline “Qubes + Whonix” name.

Then one can more cleanly spell out the Qubes derivatives and Whonix derivatives on each side of the (+) sign.

For example:

I use "Qubes Live + Whonix Gentoo Hardened Live" as my operating system.

compared to:

I use "Gentoo Hardened Whonix Qubes Live Live" as my operating system.

Yeah, I half noticed that when I wrote it out before. Makes sense.

I think Qubes + Whonix is a good enough name.Maybe we should focus more on testing whonix if it leaks anything under Qubes instead of worrying about the name,I think we can do that later for now we can test this mighty robust creation you managed to put together and see if theres any malfunctions when you use whonix with Qubes,i’m sure we’ll think of a better name later if Qubes + Whonix is not good enough.

Thanks for the feedback, Joshua! :smiley:

This discussion is not a primary focus over and above the other aspects of our project. It is a secondary issue. However, I do believe it has some importance and I initiated it right now for certain strategic reasons.

Generally, this is about public relations. And public relations is a key part of how the project grows and we get more developers and contributors working with our little project.

Our volunteer operation of producing better future versions of this computing platform is produced by the manual effort of human beings, not by robots or computers. So optimizing public relations with human beings out in the world is a key part in how we strengthen and grow our human operation for producing this software platform.

For example, big thumbs up to developer-extraordinaire @nrgaway who saw my initial Qubes port and took the platform to the next level that we are landing upon now. I think it was partly the extra public relations effort I did that helped lead to this connection occurring. We simply wouldn’t have the awesome new platform to test at this point, if I was just personally developing upon the original system I assembled and not thinking about expanding the project through public relations.

But, yes, also my public leak test reporting has begun in this Whonix Qubes forum.

More help is quite welcome with furthering the platform and project! :smiley:

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