As a Brit, I was never exposed to Spanish at school. Hence, the name "Pueblo" is pretty meaningless to me. There could well be several nuances embodied within this name but I cannot see them in the same way that an average AOL subscriber wouldn't "get" an in-joke about, say, Scott McNealy (aka the Toothsome Fairy - ahahahaha! Gets me every time...)
It's not clear to me from this thread so far whether there will be a shortlist of names on which we can all vote or whether a secret cabal will read every comment and pick the one with the most persuasive argument. Any calls for due process appear to be drowned out by everybody's favourite suggestion.
... which is why I'm going to add to the noise. But first, some points of view with which to frame my suggestion.
I wholly condemn any use of the word "Open" in the new name. Any tourist who happens on the project website will be able to determine the openness of it in short order, and there are too many bad memories of the "open" systems of the 80s. I agree with Michael that it made sense in the beginning to identify the project as ACS-Classic-with-a-twist and that the situation is different today. If we insist of stating the obvious and calling it Openwhatever, then I should always refer to my "grass" lawn or my "brick" house, not forgetting my "personal" opinion. And the point about getting many false hits in a google search is also compelling.
"Oasis" should be the ideal name for the project. It conjures up all the right images and connotations in my mind, but it's just too much overused by other projects, groups and businesses.
I don't know what to think of "Agora". I keep confusing it with Amphora (again, Classical Greek wasn't on the curriculum at school).
I believe that tying the product description into the name can have consequences. With something as shifty as the Internet, do we want to have a name that looks outmoded when the infrastructure moves on ("Db-backed websites with html front ends. Hah! Thats sooooo 1990s"). Imagine if the market changed on Burger King and made it better for them to become a soup kitchen franchise (or, worse, a Services Company). Their name would no longer reflect their product and they'd have to reinvent it.
The ACS was a magic mix of technology and design, but the real magic ingredient was the attitudes of the original developers. Pragmatism reigned supreme mixed in with gobs of chutzpah, ego and flair. Any brand identity for Ars Digita arose from successful projects completed against insane schedules for lavish prices, not from the cheesy descriptive product name.
I think that, since the OpenACS project is keeping the ACS Classic torch alive, it should adopt a name in keeping with the original pioneering spirit. I don't have any earth shattering suggestions to offer, but I do like the association with Alex.
My suggestion is to change the name of the project to The Panda Web Publishing System. If people care about its origins, they can find it in The Book. For everyone else, there's a clear identity for the product (it's a big, overweight grass-eating hairball that looks like it's taken 10 rounds with Tyson) and it's a nice homage to everybody's favourite web personalities as well as a statement of our agreement with their vision. (I really hate that word but I can't think of anything snappier right now.)
Or something like that. There will be some obstacles to overcome if the panda motif is chosen. For a start, panda.org and panda.net are unavailable. Furthermore, there are a number of other software packages calling themselves Panda this and that. It may well be even more overused than Oasis (I haven't checked).
Since IANAL, my remedy for these issues would be to simply base the domain name on something other than the primary product name. The latin for Panda is Ailuropoda melanoleuca, so we could build a project identity around
ailur.org. And all function names could begin with
am_. Yah, I like it more and more...
In some ways, it's going to be a shame if a new name actually does come about, as many are bound to be disappointed. Still, it was nice to get all that off my chest. Thanks for listening, and have a happy new year.