Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] [Ethereal-dev] Major announcement
From: Gerald Combs <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 2006 18:14:55 -0500
A lot of questions have been flying around about the name change.  I'll
try to answer them in this message and the next.  If I missed one,
please let me know.

Why the name change?

JohnR's synopsys is essentially correct.  Several years ago, my former
employer (NIS) registered trademarks for the Ethereal name and logo.  At
the time this provided valuable legal protection for the project.
Unfortunately, when I left we weren't able to come to an agreement on
the trademarks and they stayed behind.

There are several details about this that I can't discuss, but I will
say this: There was no "fight" between NIS and I.  Although I'm deeply
disappointed about the trademarks, I understand their decision.  NIS is
a great company and I still hold everyone there in high regard.

My reason to leave had more to do with the opportunities available at
CACE (for the project, my family, and myself) than anything.  The "good
stuff" that will come from moving to CACE will far outstrip any "bad
stuff" from the name change.

What will happen to Ethereal and ethereal.com?  What about the mailing
lists, bug tracker, etc.?  Will an announcement be posted on the site?

Dunno.  That's up to my former employer.

Why wasn't there a discussion about the name change?

The name change wasn't discussed in public because that's a really,
really dumb thing to do.  Google for "openssh domain" for one example,
but there are plenty of others.  I've tried to make the project as open
as possible, but there are some things that simply can't be discussed in

Why was the name change kept secret for so long?

I wasn't sure we had to change names until about two weeks ago.  At that
time the choice fell down to announcing the change immediately (with
zero content on the Wireshark site) and getting some sort of minimal
infrastructure in place.  I chose the latter, which included a web site,
mailing lists, bug tracker, SVN repository, and a downloadable
prerelease.  Getting everything set up took a little longer than
expected.  Ultimately, it was my decistion, so if you don't like it,
blame me.

Finally, please don't dismiss my respect (and awe at various times) for
the Wireshark/Ethereal developer and user community.  I've been busting
my ass for the last couple of weeks to ensure that we have the same (or
better) support infrastructure under Wireshark that we did under
Ethereal, and will continue to do so.