Reports on Phoenix/Minotaur Renaming Focus on Firebird Database Protest

Wednesday April 16th, 2003

InternetNews was one of the first sites to report on the renaming of Phoenix and Minotaur to Firebird and Thunderbird. Australian site LinuxWorld concentrated on the reaction from the Firebird database community, with claims that posts in "the Netscape-Mozilla newsgroup" (it's unclear exactly which newsgroup this refers to) are being censored. CNET also focussed on the controversy, including a link to a page from FirebirdSQL Foundation sponsor IBPhoenix that encourages people to join the "fray" and add to the "heat in [the MozillaZine] forums". The call-to-arms also lists the email addresses of many of the more prominent Mozilla contributors and suggests deluging them with messages (even though many of the listed people had nothing to do with the name change).

Posts to the forums about the name change should be kept polite and constructive and added to the existing name change announcement topic.

Update! The Firebird Admins have posted a statement about Phoenix's renaming to Firebird on their front page. Stating that they "strongly oppose this change", the announcement follows the earlier IBPhoenix article in asking its readers to declare their objections by posting to Mozilla community forums and emailing various Mozilla developers.

#182 Re: Market Confusion?

by airporttools

Thursday April 17th, 2003 7:23 PM

You are replying to this message


Easy one. I distribute a commercial product that is available on Linux and Windows. To keep things simple I'm gonna concentrate on my Windows customers.

First of all, my product is not a Web based anything. It is a standalone java application which accesses the Firebird DB via a JDBC driver. The product is extremely specialized (large scale aviation simulations) and the market is limited. A company the size of Bechtel probably would have 2 copies of this application in total.

Now, I depend upon the Firebird DB installer to setup the Firebird DB in the proper location(s), write registry entries etc. Installation of my app is a relatively clean process.

But, where one point of confusion starts to arise is when a user wants to delete my application. I give them instructions on what must be removed and how to remove those same items to restore their system back to pre-my-software status.

In Windows this involves opening up the Add/Remove Programs dialog. This dialog lists, usually one or two words only per application, the applications which are available for removal.

Now lets suppose that Joe User (my customer with my software on his machine) has had a sys-admin come in and put Firebird, the browser, on his machine. Take that one step further and sys-admin gal forgot to mention this to Joe User. Not unusual?

So, when Joe User reads my uninstall instructions that say, "remove Firebird database system from your computer", do you think he is going to be so careful and actually look through the entire list provided on the "Add/Remove Programs" dialog.

Probably not. Joe, our friend will probably just see the first instance of the word Firebird, remove the associated application, and possibly screw up his computer.

That's market confusion. It happens easily when people (Joe in my example) are essentially third-parties to what is going on on their own computers.

And who will get blamed? I will.

I tend to agree, that if you are smart enough to be out looking for a SQL database system or even an open-source browser on your own then you're probably not going to have market confusion.

But, as in my example, a lot of examples can be envisioned where the ultimate software recipient is a third party with very little knowledge of what is actually happening.

Thus, via the logic above, and other reasons, I consider having two software products which could easily find themselves installed together having the same identifier to be a problem.

Gregory Bradford Interbase and Firebird user since 1990 Mozilla user since it's first release