IBPhoenix Calls For More Focussed and Courteous Protest Campaign

Thursday April 17th, 2003

IBPhoenix, the FirebirdSQL Foundation sponsor who yesterday called for a mass forum posting and emailing campaign in opposition of Phoenix's renaming to Firebird, have reconsidered the scale of their protest. In an update posted on the IBPhoenix front page, the group says: "Yesterday, your voice was heard on their forums and in broadly targetted email. We've got their attention. Now, we should make our argument, simply, cogently, and with the respect owed by one open source group to another."

In a new article published today, Firebird Admin Ann Harrison asks fellow members of the Firebird database community to "stop broadcasting our dismay widely and focus instead on those people who can actually affect the decision." Adding that "the point is not to smother them in accuratory (sic) or derogatory messages", Harrison calls for future emails to be sent only to Mitchell Baker,'s Chief Lizard Wrangler, and Asa Dotzler, who announced Phoenix's new name on Monday.

The statement also includes a plea for civility: "When writing to the Mozilla forum or MozillaZine, use the same courtesy we use with each other in our discussions. Better yet, use the courtesy that we often use when we haven't forgotten ourselves and jumped on a soap-box." As one of the sites affected by this protest, we at MozillaZine welcome this move as a step in the right direction.

Update! Benman writes: "Slashdot has an article on the Mozilla Firebird name debate."

Another Update! The Firebird database project's front page article in protest of the renaming has been updated to remove the list of Mozilla developers' contact details. The announcement now requests that the Firebird database community only post to their own Firebird-general mailing list (which was known as IBDI until it was renamed on Wednesday). IBPhoenix have also modified their original statement to purge many Mozilla email addresses.

#9 apt-get install firebird

by sab39

Thursday April 17th, 2003 2:09 PM

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It appears that 'apt-get install firebird' doesn't actually do anything right now, because you need one of the firebird-something-server packages instead, and firebird-utils. So you "apt-get install firebird", see "Couldn't find package firebird", fall back to "apt-cache search" and find the package you want.

But in a hypothetical future world where "our" firebird has been packaged, anyone doing "apt-get install firebird" expecting a database will be terribly confused. The installation will succeed just fine, but there'll be no database anywhere to be found...

Oh, and it appears that all the firebird-*-server packages have "Source: firebird". So we end up with the confusing situation that the "firebird" binary package is something completely different from the "firebird" source package.

Either that or we call the binary package mozilla-firebird, which only hurts potential users of *this* package, who need to do an apt-cache search where with any other name they could just install it directly.

It's telling that I've never heard of *any* other situation in the history of debian where there was a conflict in the "obvious" package name based on the upstream names. Traditionally, open source really has been above this kind of thing - you Just Don't pick a name that someone else is already using, especially if that someone is also a well-known open source project.

Oh, and to state my credentials - I've been following mozilla since before the source was opened, and wrote the auto-hide feature for the site navigation bar. I've never had any involvement with the FireBird DB project, so if I have any bias it's pro-mozilla not pro-FireBird.