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RIP Ethereal, Long Live Wireshark 47

teknogeek0 writes "From Newsforge (also owned by OSTG), it appears that popular open source network traffic analyzer Ethereal has changed it's name to Wireshark. The surprising move was due to Gerald Combs, the founder of the project, changing jobs and having to leave the Ethereal trademark behind. From the article: 'I recently accepted a job with CACE Technologies, best known for WinPcap .... The move also means a major change for the project. We're continuing development under the name Wireshark, at http://www.wireshark.org/. The web site, mailing lists, bug tracker, SVN repository, buildbot, and other resources are already in place.'"
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RIP Ethereal, Long Live Wireshark

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  • Wireshark... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cosmotron ( 900510 )
    Reminds me of Gameshark... I think they could have done a better job renaming it.
  • Wrong ethereal link (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe you should change the old URL to http://www.ethereal./ [www.ethereal.] com/
  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:36PM (#15505287) Homepage
    Ethereal is at www.ethereal.com, not at www.ethereal.org.
  • 14 (Score:1, Funny)

    by Ramble ( 940291 )
    In other news, scientists have invented a time machine that allows people to travel back to when they are fourteen, a time when names like shark and Kill3r are cool.
  • Wrong link (Score:1, Redundant)

    by lazlo ( 15906 )
    Ethereal.org is definitely not a packet capture utility. Ethereal.com is what's sniffing the glue that holds the internet together. [ethereal.com]
  • does his old job own the trademark or something?
    • Re:trademark? (Score:5, Informative)

      by wishus ( 174405 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:49PM (#15505416) Journal
      does his old job own the trademark or something?

      Yes, according to the article.

      Several years ago, my former employer (NIS) registered trademarks for the Ethereal name and logo. At the time this provided valuable legal protection for the project. Unfortunately, when I left we weren't able to come to an agreement on the trademarks and they stayed behind.

      It's a good article. You should read it. ;>
    • nice company there, hoarding the name instead of donating it to the project.
    • Re:trademark? (Score:1, Redundant)

      does his old job own the trademark or something?

      Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

      From TFA:
      "Several years ago, my former employer (NIS) registered trademarks for the Ethereal name and logo. At the time this provided valuable legal protection for the project. Unfortunately, when I left we weren't able to come to an agreement on the trademarks and they stayed behind."
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:48PM (#15505400) Homepage Journal
    I cannot understand why the company would want to hold onto the Ethereal trademark if the development of the project is moving to a new name. A trademark is, by definition, a MARK that you are TRADING under, so unless they are planning on continuing the project (a fork), there is no value to the mark.

    So the only thing that makes sense to me is that they plan on forking the project and continuing the development - which really would not make sense, as the odds are such a move would be viewed with great disdain by the community, and in all likelihood the project will be outstripped by the new Wireshark project.
    • Actually, a name itself can have value. My fiance worked for a small chain of coffee stands called "Jazzland". Appearantly, the trademark itself was the most valuable asset the company had.

      That's probably what's going on here. There's nothing preventing the guys who own the ethereal name from using it to label a totally different product.
    • It looks as if this is very close to a fork

      From the wiresahrk FAQ
      Wireshark is almost (but not quite) a fork. Normally a "fork" of an open source project results in two names, web sites, development teams, support infrastructures, etc. This is the case with Wireshark except for one notable exception -- every member of the core development team is now working on Wireshark.

    • It's really as simple as: no one has ever gotten sued by their shareholders for not giving assets away.
    • NIS had a significant benefit in having control on the Etehreal name and web site. In fact, they have a daughter company called Ethereal software http://www.etherealsoft.com/ [etherealsoft.com] for which the business consists in providing services aroung Ethereal. By having control of the Ethereal name and web site, they have a very distinct advantage in promoting their services compared to other companies that would provide services around Ethereal. I can very well understand why they didn't want to give up the name Etehreal
  • Unfortunate name? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:06PM (#15505565)
    Though I guess "WireShark" kinda has a "kewl" ring to it, I'm a bit concerned because, let's face it, a shark is a predator. So you have to explain to people why you want to run some predatory application that captures packets on a network. At least with the old name you can say "hey, it's a diagnostic tool" without people giving you a "yeah, right" look that you'll now get with WireShark.
    • I thought the same thing when I saw the new name. In my particular government realm and workplace, we use Nagios instead of Big Brother -- not because Nagios is better suited to our monitoring needs but because the clueless committee heads that pull our strings equate "Big Brother" with sneaky-pete'n and wanton tomfoolery rather than basic network troubleshooting. Nagios appears to invoke some windswept Mediterranean island with pomegranate trees and azalea bushes. They love it. They don't understand how
    • Yes, true. NetDog? EtherBarnicle? InterTurd? --This really should have been a slashdot poll.
  • All this time it didn't support Router Information Protocol?

    I'd change my name, too...

    • Nah, the lack of support RIP is a subtle message to network admins. Dont use RIP, it doesnt handle variable length netmasks so there will always be "surprises" when using RIP.

  • And I for one welcome our new cartilaginous overlords....
  • by MeanMF ( 631837 ) on Friday June 09, 2006 @07:23PM (#15506822) Homepage
    "Did you mean: Wereshark"
  • A couple of years ago the OpenBSD folks yanked Ethereal out of their ports tree, complaining of a terrifying number of exploits and a fix rate that didn't meet their expectations. Did that change?
    • If the Coverity (google: coverity ethereal) results are any indication things have gotten somewhat better, I'm not sure if any of the BSDs have changed their minds.
      • If the Coverity (google: coverity ethereal) results are any indication things have gotten somewhat better, I'm not sure if any of the BSDs have changed their minds.

        From commit message removing Ethereal [openbsd.org]:

        Revision 1.4, Wed Jul 14 21:52:26 2004 UTC (22 months, 3 weeks ago) by pvalchev
        Branch: MAIN
        CVS Tags: HEAD
        Changes since 1.3: +0 -0 lines
        FILE REMOVED

        Remove ethereal from the ports tree. Right during 3.5, it had more than
        a dozen remote holes being fixed, that we shipped with. Weeks later
        things have not i

    • There has never been any exploits.
      There has been a number of dereference null pointer or forget to increase the loopcounter so end up in an infinite loop.
      Very few stack or buffer overflows have been in ether^wireshark.

      getting better or worse? Check out coverity which showed ethereal/wireshark having vastly fewer bugs per line of code than any other >1M loc project.
      Including the *BSDs.
      • I don't know why people give so much credence to Coverity. I don't see how it could possibly know what are bugs and what aren't. Didn't mathematicians and computer science people show this already as the Halting Problem? "Bugs per line of code" from a program is a ridiculous measurement to use.

        I've never used Coverity since it's impossible to get the program, but it wouldn't surprise me if it called anything that wasn't safe or good coding style a "bug". Like, yell at you if you use "strcpy". Or if you
        • I don't know why people give so much credence to Coverity. I don't see how it could possibly know what are bugs and what aren't. Didn't mathematicians and computer science people show this already as the Halting Problem? "Bugs per line of code" from a program is a ridiculous measurement to use.

          The Coverity program is useful for detecting some types of bugs in C and C++ programs. The OpenBSD developers has recently put effort into make lint [openbsd.org] more useful i.e. don't let you drown in false warnings.

          I've

        • you are seriously mistaken. coverity is a most impressive tool.
        • As you say, you have never even seen the tool, which is why you have no idea of what it does. I use coverity and my experience is that it is incredibly useful and powerful.
    • Fixing security issues and improving coding style to avoid security issues has been a very bog concern in the Etehreal/Wireshark project over that last couple of years. for instance, unsafe string operations are now no longer tolerated in the code (e.g. the strxxx functions). A couple of people have run various source code analyzers against Ethereal/Wireshark, and each time, the developers where quick in fixing the issues found. Even for coverty, the statistics look very good compared to most other open sou
  • I thought this code jumped the shark a while ago.
  • Ethereal(tm) by NIS may turn into some cookware for all we know, but one thing is clear; GPL. Ethereal/WireShark was released under GPL, and name change will not affect the direction of development (as far as I know). Only thing uncertain here is what NIS will do with the name Ethereal(tm).

    NIS may hire new developers and continue on where Combs left off. In this case, NIS may come out as Ethereal(tm) main branch, and WireShark may be seen as fork even though CACE is the one with original project lead, Co
  • I mean, I've probably only used ethereal ten times in my life, but I always loved the name. Damn. Wireshark is a horrid name, jeebus.
  • "There are two kinds of people. Sheep and sharks. Anyone who is a sheep is fired. Who is a sheep?"

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. -- Oscar Wilde

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