[Bro-Dev] CBAN naming

Vlad Grigorescu vlad at grigorescu.org
Tue May 31 08:00:19 PDT 2016

I don't like the name CBAN, for a number of reasons.

The are a number of C?AN's out there. I believe that CTAN was the first one
(TeX), and then CPAN (Perl), CRAN (R), and CEAN (Erlang) followed. The
architecture of CPAN was also ported for CCAN (C) and JSAN (Javascript).

Because these all share a family tree, much of the nomenclature is the
same. Terms such as "packages," "modules," and "distributions" mean
something specific in these cases, and those don't map well to Bro
terminology. The other consistency is that most C?AN's don't actually have
a command line client - Perl seems to be the notable exception, and its
command line client is awful.

I think one of the main reasons people like CBAN is because they assume
people will liken it to CPAN and immediately understand what it does. That
might be the case for people who have Perl experience (although I'll argue
that the number of those people is declining), but users with CTAN, CRAN,
or CCAN experience will come in with completely different assumptions. Even
people who do liken it to CPAN will need to reframe their assumptions,
since the similarities don't extend very far.

So essentially, the impact of the name CBAN on people who are unfamiliar
with it would be one of: 1) haven't heard of C?AN, don't understand what it
does, 2) have heard of CPAN, assume a similar model and a similar (awful)
command line client, or 3) have heard of a different C?AN, assume they have
to download "packages" from the website manually, or 4) have heard of CPAN
and some other C?AN, have no idea what to assume.

I also don't think the acronym CBAN represents the goals of the project:

Comprehensive - I don't think we can come close to claiming that. If the
project was hunting for Bro scripts that others have shared and aggregating
them somehow, then I think we could claim that it'd be comprehensive, but
that seems like a weird claim when submissions are voluntary.
Bro - No arguments here. :-)
Archive - I'm not sure what this means in this context. Does it mean that
plugins are distributed as archives? I'm not sure this makes sense to do. I
think this is a holdover from the days before distributed VCS and GitHub,
when you could download an archive of the packages. While I think we will
offer that functionality, I don't think that is or should be a key feature.
Network - Again, not really sure what this means. To me, this implies a
distributed model, which I don't think this project will offer -- at least
not for a while.

Finally, from the strictly practical perspective:

* cban.org is taken
* github.com/cban is taken
* There seems to be a conflicting use of the acronym ("Comprehensive BEAST
Archive Network"), though admittedly I'm not sure how widespread that usage


On Mon, May 30, 2016 at 9:44 PM, Matthias Vallentin <vallentin at icir.org>

> > By the way: Are we talking about renaming the whole project?
> I don't know :-). We need a command line client and a project name. When
> they are the same, it's certainly easier to remember.
> My favorite name so far is also "brow." The eye brow of the Bro logo
> makes for a nice association. It didn't occur to me until you mentioned
> it, but it's also only edit distance one away from "brew," which helps
> in creating a package manager association.
>     Matthias
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> bro-dev at bro.org
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