The problem with the name

Story: Fedora 12 beta code is goTotal Replies: 20
Author Content
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
1:57 AM EDT
The problem with honoring Emperor Constantine I's name is what it means to non-Christian groups. Constantine presided over the Council of Nicea. At the time the Jewish people had rebelled against Rome for the fourth time and once again the rebellion had to be put down at considerable cost. While Constantine may have proclaimed "religious tolerance" throughout the Empire that tolerance did not extend to rebellious Jews. The Council of Nicea determined what was and wasn't to be in the Christian Bible and codified the basis of European anti-Semitism for the next 15 centuries. The decision that Arianism was heresy also pretty much guaranteed that Judaism and Christianity would never reconcile in the view of one of my college history profs, a view I happen to share.

So... a very unfortunate choice of name which, I must assume, comes from a Christian reading of history. It's interesting how much of what came out of Nicea the Catholic Church and many of the Orthodox churches did away with. For example, the books of Maccabees, which tell the story of the successful Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid Empire celebrated during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, are once again in the Catholic bible. (Protestant denominations still consider the books apocryphal.) It's easy to understand why a Roman emperor wouldn't want that story to be part of scripture. Today's Catholic Church is more interested in the miracles in the story, of course.

Anyway, my point is that Constantine I had an awful lot of blood on his hands and what he accomplished in his life led to centuries of discrimination and suffering. Arians (followers of Arius, nothing to do with Nazism), of course, can't complain because they were wiped out for their heretical beliefs.
hkwint

Oct 21, 2009
2:12 AM EDT
Sad to hear, but probably to late to change I'm afraid?
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
3:03 AM EDT
Hans, you're probably right that they won't change it at this late date. I'm sure they didn't intend to offend but they clearly didn't do all their homework, either.
rahulsundaram

Oct 21, 2009
11:36 AM EDT
Caitlyn,

I am afraid it is you who didn't do the homework :-)

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/Names#Fedora_12_.28Co...
softwarejanitor

Oct 21, 2009
12:00 PM EDT
@caitlyn When I hear "Constantine" I think of the movie starring Keanu Reeves... :-)
bigg

Oct 21, 2009
12:17 PM EDT
@rahul:

If so, then it was the author of the article who did not do his/her homework.

And if so, this is the strangest choice of name I've ever seen. A quick search reveals nothing special about that county.
jdixon

Oct 21, 2009
12:32 PM EDT
> A quick search reveals nothing special about that county.

Most likely one of the developers lives there, was born there, or some such.
rahulsundaram

Oct 21, 2009
1:08 PM EDT
No, nothing petty of that sort. The process is linked from the wiki page but it seems a couple of folks have missed it.

http://marilyn.frields.org:8080/~paul/wordpress/?p=1393

Anybody from the community (you don't even have to be a Fedora contributor) can suggest a name.
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
2:11 PM EDT
@rahulsundaram: If you look at the history of Fedora names you will find famous historical individuals but no small towns in Michigan. I've done my homework and I believe the article is accurate. If the release was names Constantine, MI I'd have no complaints.

Do you have any evidence that the article is inaccurate? Do you question the historical issues I've posted?
rahulsundaram

Oct 21, 2009
2:18 PM EDT
Caitlyn,

I am not sure what you are suggesting. I linked to two pages. The first wiki page explains the connections and the second blog post goes into more details on the process. Since the codename as used in Fedora has nothing to do Roman emperors, I don't see whatever historical issues as relevant. Codenames are supposed to be fun trivia and nothing more. No need to get all worked up over it.

On the other hand, if you want to do a good technical review, I would be interested.
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
2:56 PM EDT
Quoting:Since the codename as used in Fedora has nothing to do Roman emperors,


Well, the author of the article disagrees with you. So do I based on Fedora's naming history. What evidence, other than one link, do you have that the author is wrong?
rahulsundaram

Oct 21, 2009
3:07 PM EDT
You seem hung up on the name. Alright, lets go further. I am a Fedora contributor and I already gave you the links to explain the process more History of Fedora release names and the connections between them

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/History_of_Fedora_release_name...

Fedora Project does not randomly pick names. The names follow the guidelines as described in

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Guidelines_for_release_names

The Fedora 12 codenames in particular come from

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Name_suggestions_for_Fedora_12

Hope that helps.
rijelkentaurus

Oct 21, 2009
3:12 PM EDT
The onus has to be on the person who wrote the article, Caitlyn. The link from Fedora's site specifically says it's named for the place in Michigan, and also points to a Wikipedia article detailing the numerous other items "Constantine" can reference, including Constantine The Great, as history references him. The author cites no references to a Red Hat manager or employee stating that their codename references the Roman emperor.

And what about Fedora's naming history? Other than Leonidas (which actually references a ship in the US Navy), there is nothing like this in their naming history, they are about as innocuous as Debian.

Werewolf? Cambridge? Sulphur? Moonshine? C'mon, you're being ridiculous and it seems that you're just wanting to start and maintain an argument...a potentially religious one at that.
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
3:22 PM EDT
No, I don't want to maintain an argument. It also isn't a religious argument but is more about tolerance, which is what the article claimed the name was really all about.

The additional links were helpful, thank you. It does seem the article was all wet. My reaction to the article was just that, a reaction to a claim made in an article. If that claim wasn't true then my objection doesn't fit, does it?
rahulsundaram

Oct 21, 2009
3:26 PM EDT
Yes, which is what I tried to point out in the first place. I would encourage you to treat Register articles as amusing and entertaining rather than a accurate portrayal of anything. Now can I get your attention focused on a detailed technical review :-)
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
3:30 PM EDT
Of a beta? No, I don't review betas. It's intrinsically unfair to do so as we know there will be bugs. It's an unfinished work.
hkwint

Oct 21, 2009
4:12 PM EDT
I smell a next victim for my No-CDROM problem...
rsevenic

Oct 21, 2009
8:28 PM EDT
Constantine the Emperor or Constantine, Michigan? The second is a pointer to the first. Some of you STILL don't understand pointers! Hmm ... was the first a pointer to something further back? Likely. That was the nice thing about Occam2 - no pointers.

Richard Arcana
caitlyn

Oct 21, 2009
8:36 PM EDT
I do understand. Someone wanting to name a distro release after a home town is completely different that directly honoring the memory of the emperor. Yes, that is undoubtedly where the name of the town came from. I guess I'd have a bone to pick with the town's founders but since they're long dead...
dinotrac

Oct 21, 2009
11:23 PM EDT
TOS.
jdixon

Oct 22, 2009
10:15 AM EDT
> The second is a pointer to the first. Some of you STILL don't understand pointers!

Which is probably a pointer to his grandfather/uncle, which is probably a pointer to his grandfather/uncle, etc.,etc.,etc. And the original probably had nothing to do with anything. It's a name. It's been shared by probably thousands of people through the centuries.

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