[libre-riscv-dev] RFC: Some Trivial Proposals

Michael Pham pham.michael.98 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 21 23:44:31 BST 2019

Hello all,

Since activity is kind of slow from what I can see, I thought it would
be a good idea for me to propose some trivial changes now.

Even though these are trivial proposals, I will try to adopt a formal
RFC format such as the one that the Rust project uses.

# First proposal:
Decide on a consistent naming for the project. Once decided, go
through the two websites we are able to write to (the current wiki and
the crowd supply page) and change all references to use the consistent
name. In the future, all project members will do their best to be
consistent with the name.

## Motivation and Rationale
I was browsing our wiki when I realized how inconsistent we are with
the name of the project. Sometimes it is Libre RISC-V, or Libre-RISCV,
or libre-riscv, or libreriscv, and probably more variations too. It is
important to be consistent because

* (1) it will consolidate our search engine results. In other words,
when a user wants to know more about the project and searches "Libre
RISC-V" in Google, the user will definitely get search results for
"Libre RISC-V" but search results for the other variations such as
"libre-riscv" might not show up in the same search. Same applies to
the other variations.

* (2) it will be easier for people to find us and refer to us in other
places as well such as Phoronix or NLNet, reddit, emails, etc.

* (3) it will be more professional at least agree on the name of the project.

## Drawbacks
No significant drawbacks except for the fact that someone has to go
edit all the names (maybe me).

## Alternatives
We could also just ignore it. Like I said, it's a trivial proposal ;)

# Second proposal:
Rename the Simple-V extension. Some more possible names I thought of
are "Flexible Parallelism (abbr. as zflexpar)" or "Flexible
Vectorization (abbr. as zflexvec)".

## Motivation and Rationale
As Luke said himself, "Simple-V" is not actually quite "simple".
Moreover, the name is not really descriptive of what it does compared
to other extensions. For example, when someone sees the name
"ztrigpi", they immediately are able to guess that it has something to
do with trigonometric functions involving pi. And it's easy as well to
guess that "zfpacc" probably means "floating point accuracy". Also,
I've seen "Simple-V" abbreviated as "SV" which might cause confusion
in the RISC-V community because there is an "S" extension already and
a "V" extension as well. I think I've also seen "sv" refer to
something else but not sure.

Changing the name to "Flexible Parallelism" will mean a more
descriptive name and the abbreviation "zflexpar" will certainly not be
in conflict with anything else in the wider RISC-V community.

## Drawbacks
The biggest drawback I can think of is that there has already been a
lot of discussion using the name "Simple-V". If we rename, people
might not realize they are the same. Also, when people are searching
for discussions of "zflexpar" they might not be able to find the older
discussions using the older name.

We could limit the drawbacks by publicly announcing that we are
renaming the "Simple-V" extension to "Flexible Parallelism" (or other
name) and update the title of the "Simple-V" page to be "Flexible
Parallelism (previously known as Simple-V)".

## Alternatives
We could just keep the name as is. However, if it ever becomes a
standard extension in the wider RISC-V universe, then we will have to
live with the name forever and with the fact that it doesn't really
match with the names of the other extensions.

# Third proposal:
Adopt a mascot and better logo for the project. We could adopt a
turtle as our mascot and I could ask an artist I know to create new
art assets for us (creative commons license of course).

## Motivation and Rationale
Many open source projects have an animal as a mascot. Firefox has a
fox; GNU has a gnu; KDE has a cute dragon; Rust has a crab. It would
be nice for us to have an animal that represents our ideals for this
project well. I chose a turtle because it's close to the ground (we
are developing hardware after all) and turtles symbolize stability and
security with their hard and safe shells. Unlike hardware from Intel
which no one can trust anymore, people should be able to trust our
CPU/GPU because of its openness and rely on our hardware as a secure
foundation to build software on top of -- just like a turtle :).

Regarding the logo, the only place it appears is on the crowd supply
website ( if you can even call it a logo). Some examples of nice logos
in my opinion is Red Hat's logo, Mozilla's logo, and the Gnome logo. I
don't have any specific ideas for this though.

## Drawbacks
Not really any drawbacks since everyone else has a mascot and logo.
Also, I'm pretty sure almost no one is even aware of whatever we have

## Alternatives
Since this is a request for comments (RFC), you all can suggest some
other mascots or logos or anything else.

That's all I have for now.


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