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.

#37 Re: Yawn. Heard it.

by eloki

Wednesday April 16th, 2003 5:26 PM

You are replying to this message

All the defenders saying it's not a trademark, it's a generic word, and hey there's multiple projects out there called Firebird anyway... are missing the real point of the complaints. Yes you're right, there are other projects called Firebird. You're right that there is not likely to be real confusion about the database and the browser. But why use a generic name? People coped just fine with browsers called "Netscape" and "Mozilla" that weren't real words. Mozilla has aspirations of being a model and flagship open source project, yet it couldn't even manage to come up with a decent name that wasn't taken - generic word or not. A project Mozilla's size does have to take more care in choosing names, just as a company like MS with monopoly power must be more careful not to abuse that power. Just because other people have used that name doesn't mean adding yet another Firebird isn't a mistake. It comes down to disappointment on my part - I expected better of the Mozilla project _because_ I respect them.