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."

#64 good names and nothing to do with a car

by karlhp

Tuesday April 15th, 2003 11:06 AM

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Both names, Thunderbird and Firebird are good and nice names but I have to agree with some other comments here that the names are too similar and will confuse customers, respectively users.

To keep the Mozilla name would be an option although I think Mozilla is not the best name, considering the new roadmap and the excellent design approach in phoenix, a name change might not be that bad and as the mozilla community is informed anyway it will probably not harm any existing users, indeed a good name might attract new users and make this excellent browser and mail client more popular. However, changing the names means that the names have to be chosen carefully because the new names should have some lifetime too.

In other comments I here about car names, I think that needs some clarification here, at least for the name Thunderbird. To my knowledge the name Thunderbird has been in use by Native American People long before any white men has seen America. In a book of "Sun Bear & Wabun Wind - The Medicine Wheel" the Thunderbird is part of a medicine wheel which is called the Elements Clan, at this wheel the Thunderbird Clan represents the fire in the East. In North is the Butterfly Clan which represents the wind, in East is the Turtle Clan which represents the earth and in South is the Frog Clan which represents the water.

Before looking at the medicine wheel in the book I thought that Thunderbird would be a nice name for the browser and that Butterfly might be a better name than Firebird for the Email client. Then I was surprised that both names are on the medicine wheel, it would go too far to explain their meaning here, but everything what is on the medicine wheel belongs together and the Butterfly and Thunderbird (wind and fire) complement each other. I believe this is a concept which would well fit for the web browser and the Email client. Between the two names is rich contrast but yet they are in harmony, respectively support each other, like the elements wind and fire.

Personally I find Thunderbird a good metaphor for a web browser (better than mozilla) and Butterfly a good metaphor for the Email client. Thunderbird: fire, flying around the globe, sharp eyes, fast Butterfly: wind for communication, beautiful, colorful, lightness, each message a butterfly

I case that someone has not that much fantasy, just trust your subconscious, it might get it.

So my first choice would be THUNDERBIRD & BUTTERFLY