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
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.
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 @JasonJAyalaP… https://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.
- Microsoft Windows
- Microsoft Office
- Apple OS X
- Apple iOS
- Apple iPhone
- Google Android
- Google Chrome
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.
- Qubes + Whonix Debian
- Qubes + Whonix Fedora
- Qubes + Whonix Hardened Gentoo
Personally, if creating a standard, I’d choose…
“Qubes + Whonix” – especially with the majority of still uninitiated external public in mind.
“Whonix Qubes” – based on the subjectively appealing flow of it.
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.