MozillaZine

Phoenix and Minotaur to be renamed Firebird and Thunderbird

Monday April 14th, 2003

Asa Dotzler writes: "After months of discussion and further months of legal investigation, we're finally comfortable moving forward with new names. The new name for the Phoenix browser is 'Firebird'. The documentation and product strings will be updated soon. In addition to securing Firebird, we've also got the OK from those contributing legal resources to use the name 'Thunderbird' for a mail client. Hopefully this will be the end of naming legal issues for a while."


#170 Re: read again.

by asa <asa@mozilla.org>

Wednesday April 16th, 2003 8:19 PM

You are replying to this message

"People would get pissed if someone came out with a non-browser software called Mozilla and would probably resort to flames and nonsense to get that developer to change that name."

Actaully, lots of people did come out with software with similar names to Mozilla. See GoZilla <http://gozilla.com/index.htm> and Ghostzilla <http://www.ghostzilla.com/> (see also non-software things like Zilla sports <http://www.zillasports.com/> and google for more). None of those are affiliated with the Mozilla project or mozilla.org and you don't see a lot of flames and nonsense coming from me.

But that's all beside the point. Mozilla is not a commonplace English word. It is only currently used in one specific area. Firebird, on the other hand, is a common English word and it's used all over the place on everything from guitars and automobiles to educational Math software and BBS servers. Before the Firebird RDBMS, there was some other software project that claimed the title of "most popular Firebird application" and that didn't stop the RDBMS folks from using the name. It's an English word with hundreds, maybe thousands of popular uses (it's even a famous ballet). That's a very different situation than a made up word like Mozilla. I'm all for avoiding confusion and I don't think that our names, the Mozilla Firebird browser and Firebird RDBMS are terribly confusing.

--Asa