Given that Fabrication and Engineering continues to be problematical to Stack Exchange and there is still consdierable support for Digital Fabrication, I have just e-mailed Robert Cartaino to ask him to revert the name of this proposal to my preferred name of Digital Fabrication.
I admit that I have a certain bias for both Digital Fabrication and Fabrication and Manufacturing, since I came up with both of these names at different times, but putting that bias aside I strongly feel that Maker Professionals is a step in the wrong direction.
The term Maker is specifically an enthusiast term which only covers a subset of the community we are targeting (as evidenced by the lack of votes on the name suggestion of Makers).
We talk about Maker culture, Maker Community and the Maker Movement. That's where the original Personal Manufacturing proposal came from in the first place, but it was clear that there was not enough support from this community alone. That is why I slowly and steadily encouraged the expansion of this proposal to include questions outside of the original 3d printing remit of the proposal.
In my experience, in the maker community hactivism is seen as the antithesis of professionalism, so specifying professional in the site name is offputting to many of those in the in the maker community.
Not only that but not a single other stack exchange site has professional in the site name.
The site I am protem moderator on is Robotics not Robotics professionals, the site where I have my highest reputation is Programmers not Programming professionals.
The closest example I can find is Pro Webmasters, but there are also a couple of other sites named with this kind of post-hoc clarification: Android Enthusiasts and Database Administrators
Singling out this proposal for the professional treatment implies this site is unlikely to be professional enough. It's like the old joke that if a science has science in the name then it isn't a real science.
I can understand the desire for this site to have a classic double barrelled name, but I really don't think this is the way to do it.
Combine these together and you have a confusing and unprecedented clash. The second half of the name stylistically and culturally conflicts with the first half.
I worked in the mechatronic solutions and laser micro-machining industries for over a decade, so I am an example of the professional expert being targeted by this name change and it doesn't work for me. I have never once heard the term maker used in a professional context, and I have never heard people at hackspace meetings talking about their professional experience.
I want the name of this site to bring these groups together, not tear them apart.
I strongly believe that enthusiasts can learn much about precision and quality (for example) from the professional experts, but I also believe that the professionals can learn about cost reduction and novel approaches from enthusiast experts. The two communities are complementary, and that's where I want this site to go as I hope we are slowly managing with robotics.
How this was handled
I understand that some decisions about the future of a proposal have to be taken without consultation. On reflection I see that simplifying the description of this proposal will make it more accessible, but I also feel that if Great work! You're almost there! had included a comment about concerns over the name, and invited comments, then we could have sorted this out without upsetting precisely those enthusiasts and professionals who are going to make this community prosper.
While some proposals may have been derailed over choosing names in the past, here we have had a constructive, ongoing dialogue over the past year, changed name several times and eventually settled on a name which had overwhelming support from those concerned about such things.
In short, I don't think this proposal deserves to be singled out with the professional moniker, nor do I think professionals will be able to identify with the neologism Maker in the name.
Unless a more suitable name than Digital Fabrication can be suggested, I believe that we would be better off with this as the name for the community.