How do we feel about the "strictEq" name?

I made myself a note sometime back to ask folks about the “strictEq” name after a little time. What do folks think about it? Has it grown on you, now that it’s no longer new? Or is it seeming arbitrary and strange?

This is about the point where I’ve used the name long enough that I can no longer say much of anything about how I see it. I can say that I dig the logo:

strictEq logo

It hasn’t grown on me. Here’s my stream of consciousness in browsing the current website. Hope it’s useful!

I don’t think “strict equality” is a phrase that evokes useful feelings or intent.

What does equality mean? How is it strict?

What is the “one liner” of the license? Or does it refer to the payment scheme?

Examples that I can type up without referring back to the source that seem to stick for me:

The Parity License is free for open source, with private license options for closed source usage.

The Prosperity License is free to use for non commercial purposes, with private license options for commercial usage.

License Zero is an automated software licensing sales system that helps to sell private license exceptions for primarily open licenses such as Parity and Prosperity


I’ll take a crack at it:

strictEq is a simple, open catalog of user-supported public software.

It’s a catalog? Nothing about the name suggests anything related to open or user-supported either.

All strictEq software is available under a standard deal. If you use the software to make money or for work, buy a license from the developer. Otherwise, you’re free to use and share for free. And to offer the same deal for your own software.

It’s a standard deal, not a strict deal? It’s mainly about the deal?

That last “and to offer” sentence muddies the messaging here I think. Or is it meant to hint that combined software falls under this deal?

the code you depend on depends on you

Catchy! Feels like strong home page material.

Dependable Equality? Strict Dependency?


Words that spring out:

  • public software
  • user-supported
  • standard
  • deal
  • use the software to make money … buy a license (pay the developer?)
  • agency terms (I like the idea of having an agent!)


I think you’re trying to name the standard deal terms, the “equality” of paying for stuff that you build on (ie core movement building), and the catalog / service. I’m not suggesting you come up with MORE names, just trying to outline how it feels and how it will end up getting used together.


  • I sell commercial licenses using StrictEq
  • Free for non commercial use, commercial licenses handled by StrictEq
  • This is user-supported public software, with commercial licenses available through StrictEq
  • I use StrictEq as my agent to handle sales of commercial licenses
  • The StrictEq public software catalog provides standard deal terms for paid commercial licenses of this software

It may be useful to plop in some alternate names into the sentences above to try out something else.

The actual sounds of STRICKT-ECK don’t really work for me. Sounds even worse if I pronounce it in German :wink: (roughly, “Knitting Corner” if I reverse engineer what those sounds mean)

FWIW - I like the logo mark!


Previous thread link for those wondering:

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It hasn’t grown on me, I still just think of ===.

Perhaps a name that isn’t a portmanteau and is not a combination of words, as with those, the name becomes a description, when a name should be a noun, not a combination of verbs and adjectives. This also has the advantage of allowing the project to grow/pivot/expand beyond its initial description.

Perhaps stick equality or fairness into google translate and try all the various languages until you find something that you like. That’s what I did for Bevry, as well as many of my projects.

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The names Open Collective and GitHub Sponsors are more obviously descriptive of their goals. strictEq requires more decoding.

The logo is nice. It reminds me more of the Woolmark certification than recycling. That said, I don’t think a logo is important, especially at this early stage.


Perhaps you’ve written it elsewhere, but it could be helpful to have a short, succinct description of the problem you’re now aiming to solve. Both potential solutions and their branding are easier to evaluate with that in mind.

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Thank you all for feedback. I’m convinced I need to go back to brainstorming.

I thought “strictEq” was growing on me, but when I finally gave it enough remove, I found I didn’t feel much about it. I tried to be honest, and if I’m honest, it feels like a placeholder name, a code name, rather than a final name.

FWIW, the “equality” in “strictEq” was supposed to emphasize that anyone who buys licenses for software on the site is also fully empowered to sell licenses for their own work the same way. There aren’t separate buyer and seller account types on the site. More generally, the message was that “the deal” on offer is one folks can both offer to others and accept from others, because it’s fundamentally fair.

I’ll start keeping a list of new ideas. Hopefully I’ll have some to bring back here soon.

I’ve been investigating new names. Nothing firm to share yet. But in light of troday’s fracas about Elastic moving to the Server Side Public License, I did think of a funny one: “Fauxpen Corps”!


Maybe we try and take “propreitary” back?

i think the tagline “the code you depend on depends on you” is onto something: dependency being a two-way relationship is the reason we need things like the-project-formerly-known-as-L0 in the first place. after a bit of googling, it looks like mathematically, when a directed graph has edges that balance each other, it’s called a symmetric graph or a bidirected graph. so maybe the idea is “symmetric dependency” and the name is “symdep”? or “redep”, for “reverse dependency” or “return dependency” or something similar?

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I often associate the term proprietary software as being about binaries that don’t come with the right to view the source code, even if that’s not what the term really means. It’s probably easier to coin a new term, rather than trying to redefine what proprietary means in the minds of others.


Thanks for this. “Dependency” is one of the words I’ve been riffing on.

Unfortunately, a lot of the near, non-technical associations are bad. “Codependent”. The opposite of “independent”.

I’ve been playing with “reliable” and “dependable”, too.

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Yeah, “taking it back” would definitely mean overcoming existing associations. Definitely a high-risk strat.

Like I said before the one liner I think is really good.

Some brainstorming.


  • AFAICT you’re aiming at mostly library like code
  • sounds like dependabot
  • .com available

dependable or reliable X

  • I’m looking at domain names and there are some useful X available as TLDs such as “codes” and “digital”
  • the shortened version will be “I bought a license through Dependable” or “Support this software through Reliable”

I think with the whole crop of TLDs there are creative options. Browsing, “” stood out to me.


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sorry for jumping in. i think, maybe, adjectives like “dependable”, “reliable” or something should be avoided in the name because it means something different for everyone depending on background :wink: (esp for non native speakers like me). I think “indie” and “alternative” are already overloaded many times. maybe something in the direction of “loopholes” (because that’s what should be fixed?) or “clarity”, “perspecuity”, “explicitness” or even just “outspoken”. just what came to mind, please don’t blame me… i also had difficulties with “strictEq”. names are generally hard to come up with.


Yeah it’s all hard. And other language backgrounds as well as blink reactions are all useful pieces of feedback. A micro model of broad reactions.

I really appreciate @kemitchell letting us “bike shed” this!

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I appreciate the help. And it’s not like I could just dictate a new name and make you all like it!

Just spitballing, in the context of bikeshedding…

Parallel (have to be honest, I like this most)



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I went digging in my notes from when I was first trying to come up with “License Zero”. What a trip!

One of the notes I made for myself right at the start was a bit of advice I often give my law clients: If at all possible, pick a name without any existing meaning at all, or at least no existing meaning to do with your business. In trademark law, we call these “fanciful” and “arbitrary” marks. “Xerox” for copying machines and “Apple” for computers, for examples. They’re the strongest kinds of trademarks you can get, and usually the strongest brands, if you can build them up from zero.

One of the names that struck me back then was actually an old one, “Griffarins”. It has historical meaning, but commonly known historical meaning. The more I look back at it, the more I think that historical meaning is just the kind of meaning the project wants to invoke.

There’s a superb high-level summary of the Griffarins here. But in short, they were a kind of proto-union of journeymen printers in Lyons in the 16th century. Printing was a relatively new industry at that time, and while Lyons was famous for its printers, there weren’t any strong guilds or other institutions, as there were in other trades. There weren’t many of social, economic, or other protections journeymen in other fields had.

The journeymen were skilled tradesmen, and unusually literate for the time. They often learned by moving (journeying) from shop to shop to gain experience. But they were still looked down on by the businesspeople and master printers who owned the shops and monopoly privileges to start new ones. Who or course derided them as insubordinate and lazy. The name “Griffarin” was a play on the words for “glutton”, which the masters called them, and “claw”, which evokes a certain ability to fight back.

They united to support each other, improve working conditions, and generally flexed their collective leverage as uncommonly skilled workers in high demand for a new, lucrative, and socially important field. Similar movements in other parts of Europe fought against measures like passport-like systems that masters used to bind journeymen to their shops, built institutions like inns and hiring calls to support those on their journeys, and supported illicit masters who set up their own shops without inheriting or buying the privilege from the guild.

I would probably need to do a new logo. Probably a modern rendition of a printer’s mark or bookplate with a griffin. Not bad to have a built-in mascot!

What do you think? Could you call yourself a “Griffarin”, or list your work for sale and support in a “Griffarins Catalog”? Could we make that name our own?

If you’re looking for more good reading on medieval guilds and artisan work more generally, I can highly recommend this wonderful history. That’s where I first saw the name.

Just randomly, while I was writing is, I opened a tab with Twitter and saw this:

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I would take it a step further and just use Griffin Catalog. Griffin Catalog License is also great of course :wink:

Griffarin has awkward cadence, and has this direct connection.

The Griffin Catalog can come from Griffarin with more straightforward visualization.

Love the mark idea.

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