The fact that this is an HTTP request library, as opposed to a server, is what pushes this into serious troll territory. The only saving grace here is that Java programmers searching for this library might come upon one of the other two and realize what they are missing.
Edit: A Ruby and a Python library, named unicorn-rest and unicorn respectively, are built into this project. This is madness.
As pointed out by another commenter, they also ripped off the unicorn image seen on Github error pages, which further confuses the matter because Github obviously used that unicorn since they run the Unicorn web server, not whatever this HTTP library is.
They would have been better off naming it something awful like "Hospice" or something.
Even in the event that he did give permission, doesn't seem like he thought it through that people would automatically associate it with him (or Github). I'm also not going to make assumptions about all of his talents, but he mentions nothing about illustration across any of his accounts. Did he actually make the original? Even if he commissioned it, it seems like it would be up to the artist to decide whether or not it is used for other purposes.
Just found this tweet:
Daniel Shaw @dshaw 20 Sep 11
@bkudria The angry unicorn comes from @github's old 500 page. It was originally left facing as you have it. Don't know the original source.
If I were the guys from this site, I'd really reconsider the name and the logo. Just too many crossed threads.
One point to be taken - as an old (35 years old) Java developer, who knows Ruby from page 4 of the rails tutorial and tryruby mostly, I would not have that confusion problem with the unicorn server (which I hear about here in the first time)
And still I'm really happy to see some Java friendly open source project hit HN front page (either due to legit reasons or due to naming confusion). I feel I'm not forgotten, and yes, I will use this soon to be renamed library in a real project today, as using Apache Http Client is a real HeadacheFactory sometimes. and this is what I used to revert to most of the time as we java folks simply don't get many new, modern open source libraries developed with Java developers in mind very often these days.
Oh my god, there actually is an Apache HttpClient library . I was going to say "this would be as confusing as if somebody made a HTTP client library named Apache," but it's already been done, and of course it's a Java library. RoflFactories...
I agree -- the name is super confusing... at least they reference the collision within ruby: "Why not a name change? Well, we decided on the name before writing the libraries and decided to stick through to the end with it, also... this awesome site. The more you know~"