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This page is deprecated

Please see History and ProjectName for a current documentation on this subject.

In summary: Postgres is an accepted nickname for the project, but is not being considered for adoption as a replacement at this time. This page was created to facilitate a reasoned discussion about changing the name, and is left here to document that conversation and as a reference in the event that the project is undertaken at some point in the future.

Changing name from PostgreSQL to Postgres

Postgres is a proposed new name for the project, to replace the official name PostgreSQL. The latter would still be a perfectly fine way to refer to the project, but the former would be encouraged.

Pros for changing the name to "Postgres"

  • Already used that way by many people
  • Almost everyone speaks it that way
  • Many of the projects, scripts, etc. use that name
    • Default database for all new clusters
    • Default username for all distros
    • check_postgres, Postgres-R, Postgres Plus
  • Less problems translating to other languages
  • No pronunciation problems
  • Does not encourage weird derivations such as "Postgre" and "PostgresQL"
  • SQL is the de-facto standard, no need to emphasize it any more in the name...
  • ...but if we ever change to something besides, it won't be a problem. :)
  • No more worries about mixed caps and color schemes on letters.
  • Google search on "Postgres" still brings back PostgreSQL hits (e.g. first hit is, which does not contain the word "Postgres")
    • Is this actually a "pro"? This suggests to me that it some efforts may be unnecessary, which is more of a "con."
  • Advocacy efforts could start with features, not pronunciation corrections/disclaimers.
  • Some friendly companies already using this name would benefit.

Cons for changing the name to "Postgres"

  • Abandonment
    • Discards 8+ years of advocacy of the "PostgreSQL" name
    • No other major free software project has changed names voluntarily
      • Rebuttal: But no other major project has such an ugly unpronounceable name
  • Confusion
    • 1-2 years of answering "Is Postgres a fork? Which should I use?"
    • Increased confusion with Ingres and Progress (yes, it's still around)
  • Some community may be opposed to the change (research needed)
    • Downstream projects may get annoyed with the name change and drop PostgreSQL support
      • Rebuttal: seems very unlikely
    • Some corporate supporters may be unhappy about renaming materials/marketing/packaging
    • Some OSes/distributions may get frustrated and drop PostgreSQL distribution
      • Rebuttal: extraordinarily unlikely, bordering on FUD
  • Work (see below)
    • Will be lots of work
    • Currently not enough Advocacy volunteers for routine tasks
      • May result in other advocacy tasks not getting done
  • A minority of the community apparently prefers "PostgreSQL"
  • Some big regional groups (like .fr, .eu) don't have control over "postgres.something" domain
  • Some friendly companies using PostgreSQL would lose benefits or have to rephrase their taglines or other references to PostgreSQL.

Things that would need to be changed

  • Website graphics
  • FAQ
  • Website URL
  • Internal documentation references
  • Every single page mentioned by Google (just kidding)

Things that may not need to be changed

  • postgresql.conf and other internal file/directory names
  • Mailing list names
  • Things using 'pgsql'
  • Older documentation

Tasks in the Upgrading The Name Project

Further Information Needed

  • Need an inventory of graphics containing "PostgreSQL"
  • Poll non-users to find out if name has any effect on adoption
  • Poll corporate supporters
  • Check with press contacts / analysis on likely press reaction
  • Poll downstream projects on reaction to name change
  • Poll regional/language groups & packagers
  • Check for legal issues
  • Detailed listing of all materials which need changing.

Brainstorm of Items

  • Research
    • Lots needed; see "Further Information" below.
  • Change Advocacy
    • Coordinate/track all necessary work
    • Prepare FAQ & Handouts on "why the name change", "not a fork", and "not Ingres"
      • Rebuttal: Why draw attention to Igres? Answer when asked, but no need to point it out
    • Announcement & Press release
  • Websites
    • Websites to be updated
      • pgFoundry
      • developer wiki
      •,, more?
    • New URLs: determine if we can get them all and buy them.
    • Create redirection tech so old links work
    • Update website contents to read "Postgres"
    • New website graphics
  • Advocacy Materials
    • Update advocacy materials
    • New advocacy graphics & t-shirt designs
  • Documentation
    • Update all docs & translations
    • Update all server strings & translations
  • Packaging
    • Contact all packagers
      • RPM packager Devrim opposed to name change
        • Actually, he is opposed to making RPM changes *before* the change is official
      • Fix dependencies in each packaging system
    • Do the work for packagers who don't have time
    • Help packagers/users with upgrade confusion caused by new names
  • Downstream Projects
    • Contact all major downstream projects to warn them of upcoming change and gauge reaction
    • Coordinate name change with downstream projects
    • Do the work for projects who will otherwise drop PostgreSQL support

Controversial Items

These are items where people have said both "this needs to change" and "this does not need to change." That makes it manifestly clear that we cannot assume, without some discussion/debate, what ought to be done with these items.

  • Filenames & Binaries
    • Rename paths and filenames and processes from postgres to postgresql.
    • Update paths on website that use "pgsql" instead of "PostgreSQL".
    • Change filenames which are explicitly "postgresql"
    • Maybe change filenames/paths which are pgsql
      • otherwise future confusion
    • Update all code which uses explicit filenames and paths to use the new ones
  • Plan/coordinate updating package names & file paths
  • Mailing Lists
    • Maybe rename from pgsql-?
    • Archives issues?

Things that may need to be changed even if the name does not

  • Make "Postgre" an officially acceptable short form because it's the obvious short form of PostgreSQL; which will prevent some of the abuse of new members, users, and customers of the product.
  • Alternative: Hold a marketing campaign to educate the world that we're not Postgre.
  • Produce new swag as the old inventory is used up.
  • Make links use instead of to re-enforce the brand.
  • Update the mailing list names from "pgsql-advocacy" to "postgresql-advocacy"

Alternatives to changing to Postgres

  • Moving to PostgresQL - which keeps domain names, etc but encourages the preferred short form.
  • Approving of "Postgre".
  • A marketing campaign to educate the world against "Postgre"

External Links