Stratos is now Alicorn, V0.5 is available (we skipped V0.4)!

Stratos is now Alicorn, V0.5 is available (we skipped V0.4)!

Hello, my dear readers! Today, I’m happy to announce that Stratos has received an entirely new brand: Alicorn! In addition to new branding, this comes with an entirely new website and revamped documentation; head on over to http://alicorn.io now to check it out!

Why Change Names?

I’m sure many of you who stumble upon this magnificent article will ask yourselves why I changed the name of Stratos to Alicorn. There are actually two reasons:

  • There are no less than three different kinds of Stratos out there today (Apache Stratos, the Stratos Card and Redbull Stratos). Not only is this confusing, but it hurts search rankings and creates an artificially diluted web presence.
  • While it was easy enough to brand Stratos with things like Spheres and iconography that resembled space and planets, it wasn’t very personable or fun. Stratos is supposed to be a fun framework to use, not just a professional one.

Why Choose Alicorn?

Well, besides the fact that I love narwhals, I chose the name Alicorn because…wait, that’s pretty much it. There were a few other reasons too, though:

  • Silly as it sounds, Alicorn has the same number of characters as Stratos. This made refactoring some portions of Stratos a lot easier.
  • While Alicorns have become associated with those MLP:FIM pegasus-unicorn hybrids, the Alicorn was originally the name of the horn on a unicorn. In turn, narwhal “teeth” (the horn) were commonly given to royalty and mistaken for unicorn horns, or Alicorns. This convenient series of facts helps justify the relationship between an Alicorn and a narwhal.
  • I wanted a narwhal logo.

What’s new?

So, between my last version of Stratos (Timber Bridge) and my latest version of Alicorn (Misty Mountain), there have been a few significant changes not documented elsewhere:

  • Most obviously, the name has changed to Alicorn from Stratos.
  • There is now a new website, http://alicorn.io, which contains all of the downloads and documentation.
  • Alicorn now runs an embedded HTTP server, which exposes REST endpoints for various things like getting Spheres and manipulating Spheres.
  • Alicorn now has a web dashboard that allows you to manage and program Spheres graphically; no more messing around with lame-o text editors!
  • More API refinements and back-end improvements.

What’s next?

Well, I’ll actually be migrating a large chunk of this website to Alicorn (most likely). I’ve started using the Jekyll platform for alicorn.io, and I’m liking it a lot more than WordPress (simply because I like the amount of freedom it gives me). Additionally, I’ll be working on tons of upgrades for Alicorn that give it support for the FIRST Robotics Competition, etc, etc. So stay tuned, and check out http://alicorn.io!

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