RSF is a meanigless abbreviation that nobody can remember. We do need a better name for the package.
I suggest Madagascar and can justify it scientifically.
I had a brilliant idea to look up RSF in the international airport codes. It turns out that there is no airport with RSF as the code. However, there is RSE (Sydney Rose Bay in Australia) and RSG (Serra Pelada in Brazil). Logically, RSF must be in between. The exact geographical center between RSE and RSG, with the high probability of being in the middle of the ocean, happens to fall on the island of Madagascar.
Madagascar will be easy for everyone to remember because of the movie. We can use one of the island's unique creatures (lemur, tenrec, fossa) for the logo. Madagascar is a symbol of isolation, which is a reminder of what RSF does not want to be.
A spirited debate on the topic of software package names can be found on the Slashdot discussion on the release of the Ekiga package, the successor of GnomeMeeting: http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/13/1658206 . I will try to summarize below the main points made there:
The potential objections to names like "Madagascar" for a data processing package are: "they sound unprofessional" and "they are not descriptive of what the package does".
The argument in favor of names of this kind is that there are many successful software applications/businesses with non-descriptive, funny names: Adobe Acrobat, Apple, Firefox, Google, HotMail, Linux, Red Hat, Skype, Yahoo, etc. To quote a Slashdotter, "Once a brand name is established, no-one bothers anymore".
A brand name can be established by paid advertising or by a virtuous circle of high quality and viral marketing (a.k.a. word of mouth). A brief summary of how viral marketing works can be found at http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles.htm . The "Madagascar" name seems to work well with all of them.
So I'd say, let Madagascar become the best seismic processing software package! It feels like a breath of fresh air in a stale room. When it becomes strong enough, oil company researchers will be able to go to their managers and say with a straight face: "Madagascar is better at what it does than its competitors, proprietary or open-source. Let us use their format and tools for our in-house codes, and let us release to them code that does not provide us with a competitive advantage. Let us cooperate with the other oil companies in commoditizing the infrastructure necessary for writing cutting edge algorithms, so that the proprietary software vendors can use their resources for doing actual research which will help us find more oil. With such infrastructure available, any researcher with a great idea out there can go and do a startup, without the barrier of having to purchase a hundred thousand dollar suite so that they can preprocess the data in order to be able to apply their super-smart algorithm. We are willing to pay good money for our tools, but we would by far prefer that the recipients spend their time doing cutting-edge research instead of writing yet another NMO or SEG-Y converter for their own package. We are a highly specialized industry with very few people and we cannot afford the luxury to not cooperate with our peers on things that do not constitute a clear competitive advangage for our company."
Then, it will not matter in terms of "seriousness" and "descriptiveness" whether the package is named "Madagascar" or something serious like "the HIgh-Powered Processing Open-source Suite" [Oops, got it wrong, this accronyms to HIPPOS -- actually, how about that? :-) ]
The great circle route puts it in the Southern Ocean. http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=RSE-RSG%0D%0A&RANGE=&PATH-COLOR=red&PATH-UNITS=mi&SPEED-GROUND=&SPEED-UNITS=kts&MARKER=1&RANGE-STYLE=best&RANGE-COLOR=navy&MAP-STYLE=
And an albatross it's not a very fun and happy animal either! I liked Sergey's crazy creature ideas better. I thought the whole idea of a name like Madagascar is to sound fun in order to atract developers and users, especially students. Kinda like Tux.
Once you decide on an animal/symbol we can get an offshore professional to make an original logo drawing for only 2-300$ on outsourcing portals such as http://www.elance.com/ or http://www.scriptlance.com/ . Unless somebody has a real talent at drawing it is hard to get something nice looking (witness all the attempts for a SEP logo over the years). I would not have a problem chipping in 40 bucks or so, if we are a few people we can cover it without problems. I would suggest Sergey not paying, he has been doing all this development work. I am willing to take the time of communicating with a designer, just settle on an animal first and send me mail at ioan.vlad ['@t`] yahoo.com.
We can't use an animal straight out of the Madagascar movie: media companies are ferocious about copyrights. For example, Disney was instrumental in getting Congress in 1992 to extend the length of copyright by 20 years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Bono_Copyright_Term_Extension_Act#Political_climate
Let's go somewhere.
Yeah. It is a bit noisy. There's a lovely little cafe around the corner...
I was thinking Madagascar.
Is that a new club on Dean Street?
No. It's a country. Off the coast of Africa.
I agree the argument for Madagascar is compelling… Although the earth is spherical, calculating the average in a cartesian coordinate system arbitrarily centered on a small town in SE England seems perfectly appropriate for exploration geophysics software.
Although it has yet to be popularized by the Disney corporation, I did like the albatross. It was a creature of good fortune until the Ancient Mariner decided to kill it.