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.

#189 Re: 76% ?!?!

by superyooser

Friday April 18th, 2003 1:36 AM

You are replying to this message

hehe Wow, I really sent you over the edge, didn't I? Get a grip, it's just a WEB-POST. :) Believe it or not, I actually had had more flammable hyperbole in my comment but deleted it before I posted. Sorry for the blow-up.

There are two issues. One is the name change issue: *Since it was known* that the use of Phoenix/Firebird would become mandatory to continue using a current Mozilla-made browser, there has been ZERO discussion of a new name. There hasn't been enough TIME for a discussion; it's been only a matter of days since the road map was unveiled. Many of us were content with Mozilla, so we had no idea what was being discussed in the Phoenix forums. Any news about Phoenix, I mostly blocked out. Mozilla was my browser. Now I am hearing that the discussion was already held?! Not since the radical road map change. A large portion of Mozilla users were not engaged or even aware of that alleged discussion. We did not know that the rug was about to pulled out from under us. I think most of us do agree that the road map change is generally good, but it's as if we were "tricked" (by fate; not intentionally) into not participating in the name change discussion because it pertained to a browser that we had no intention of using. Unfortunately, this point is completely lost on Kovu et al. Actually, I think the sad reality is that they just don't care.

That leads to the second issue, which is really what is blowing the first issue out of proportion: respect, or lack thereof. I'm in shock at the attitude of Asa and Kovu. They don't seem to care *at all* what Mozilla users think. I am not some Firebird DB developer who just migrated over here with that crowd in the last couple days. I've been a registered MZ member for years, and I voted that the Firebird name was unfair to the database project. (My second choice would've been "don't like" or "hate.") Kovu is relentlessly, systematically smacking down everybody in these threads who doesn't like the new names. The opposition to the bird names is vehement and overwhelming, but their response basically amounts to: "Shut up. We do what we want." It is demeaning and arrogant, dismissive without justification, and violates the spirit of OSS.

Asa has frequently had a scowling tone when responding to complaints. MZ puts up these "talkback" boards for the apparent purpose of soliciting comments, opinions, and advice. But now they are chewing out people for giving "back-talk." Their behavior is untenable and most unfriendly. Mozilla users post comments here expecting that their input will be respected. As of late, this place has become a flogging forum. Regular Mozilla enthusiasts are having their views trashed and motives impugned (i.e., charging that anybody who speaks out against the Firebird browser name *must* have a vested interested in the DB) by the developers. A dark cloud is over the Mozilla "community," if you can still call it that.