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.

#88 Mozilla Firebird - good name...

by deadmeat

Thursday April 17th, 2003 2:54 AM

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...if you've just had to rename your product from Phoenix.

To all the Firebird DB people asking us how we would feel if Microsoft renamed "Internet Explorer" Mozilla (or some other unlikely occurance), how do you think we feel about having a BIOS company tell us to change the name of our browser?

There's been discussion on the name change for months, and god knows there's been some stupid suggestions for names (we voted Phallus to be the worst, although personally I would of rather used Phallus than MozJunior). There's an obvious similarity between the names Phoenix and Firebird (and many of the Firebird logos actually look more like a Phoenix than the dictionary definition of Firebird), so it's no suprise that a lot of the people using Phoenix wanted a name as similar as possible. There just aren't that many good names out there, and I'm afraid we're going to have to share some of them.

As for the Firebird database having wide market recognition that's going to be harmed by this, I'm afraid that's just not true. I'm a Java developer and we use quite a few opensource tools. I have heard of the Firebird database, but only because JBoss comes with a configuration for it - however, a quick poll around the office shows that I'm the only one who has heard of it. Now MySQL, Postgress are a different matter and we use MySQL for quite a few things. I'm not in any way suggesting that the Firebird database has anything wrong with it - I've not used it so I'm not in a position to judge it's technical merits, I'm just saying that this is probably the most publicity it's ever received. Lets face it, the average computer user hasn't got a clue about Mozilla.

All this flaming and spamming does nothing but create bad will between people who support Free Software - OK, I read slashdot so I know that's what we're good at. If you think some of the Mozilla project leaders sound a bit forceful, well don't you think they're fed up with discussing name changes (they've had to go through this with Camino/Chimera as well) and all the work that's involved. And the reason for mentioning that it's been cleared with AOL/TW legal is because of the problems with previous names and not because we're trying to stomp on people already using the Firebird name.

Also it's kind of sad that the online media (Paul Festa at CNet again!) like to jump on this disagreements and fan the flames - they're doing great work for Microsoft and Oracle.

OK, I've had my say - I really should do some work now.