A Proposal for Sanitizing Weboob

Almost since the inception of the Weboob project, we have received remarks on the name, the iconography, and lately the code comments. Until some time ago, that came from bystanders, social media, etc. However, the argument has been made by current contributors that we could be missing out on new contributors due to these aspects.

Now, we can’t exactly fork the universe to A/B test this hypothesis. Sanitizing Weboob will require at least these tasks to complete:

  • Rename the Weboob project to a unique and meaningful enough name
  • Buy new domain names, rename the various things in our infrastructure
  • Rename the WebNip class
  • Rename the various classes that contain Weboob in their name
  • Rename some modules (like popolemploi which refers to penises, bnporc)
  • Create a separate repository for porn or other possibly offensive modules
  • Coordinate with vendors on the rename (Distributions, companies, and the software that uses Weboob behind the scenes)
  • Rename most of the applications
  • Publish a migration guide
  • Come up with a new logo for Weboob
  • Redo most icons, keeping the constraint of parody for legal reasons

This obviously amounts to huge costs, and so far no help has been offered; in fact, my previous calls for merely redoing icons have been unanswered.

While I personally believe those who ask for a rename are more interested in power play and seek total capitulation for political motives, I have come up with a way to ensure we cannot be scammed by doing all the effort while gaining nothing in return. In turn, sincere people will be rewarded if the plan succeeds.

I personally don’t mind bland software, though some other contributors like the fun aspect of Weboob. However, we have to be sure there is something interesting to be gained for Weboob, instead of being tricked in working for free on boring tasks to please others, which would amount to self-flagellating in public.

Potential contributors who are repelled by the current naming and aesthetic choices of Weboob are welcome to make themselves known. To ensure they are sincere, a monetary deposit will be required, and will be refunded a year later if they have indeed become contributors. If not, the deposit will taken as a donation to Association Weboob to compensate for the energy wasted.

This operation is done in my name only, and only engages my responsibility. There is no support for it among the community or the association board yet outside of myself.

To be clear, the potential contributors will never have to contribute to “Weboob”, only the sanitized version.

Operating details (subject to change with feedback):

My low estimate cost for all the tasks is around 10000€. I would like the total of deposits to amount to at least that before starting doing any work.
Since we want to test for sincerity, the amounts don’t have to be the same for everyone, but ideally relative to income.

I won’t take deposits until I am sure the work can start with full support from the community and association board. I suspect the support for a rename mostly comes from the United States, so if I will make sure to store those deposit in dollars to shield the potential contributors from EURUSD fluctuations.

As a gesture of goodwill, if one succeeds in becoming a contributor, in addition to refunding the deposit, I will also donate my own money to Association Weboob in their name so they can become a member for free.

Potential contributors should contribute regularly over the year, with activity in the majority of the months, a decent number of new modules, and one non-module improvement. Obviously, the contributions have to be made in good faith, e.g. fixing typos while always welcome won’t count toward a contribution in this case.

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