Full Article Attached Firebird Database Project Admin Ann Harrison Interviewed

Monday April 21st, 2003

It's been a long and intense week since announced that the Phoenix browser has been renamed Firebird, to the dismay of much of the Firebird database community. In this interview with MozillaZine, Ann Harrison, an administrator of the Firebird database project and a partner in IBPhoenix, gives her thoughts on the dispute.

#51 Thoughts that don't involve *anybody* renaming.

by neva <>

Tuesday April 22nd, 2003 6:24 AM

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1. If the resource is going to remain one of the primary reference sites for Mozilla Firebird information, it ought to change its phrasing to refer to it as Mozilla Firebird *consistantly*, and not just in certain spots. Mozilla's own page, for that matter, probably ought to be more consistant. Casual reference is one thing, but official and semiofficial sites should at least be making sure that things like page titles are clear on just what product they're referencing.

2. People really need to stop calling for Mozilla Firebird to get renamed. It's not happening. Similarly, advocates of the current name need to stop treating people who don't like it as if they're second-class citizens and/or complete idiots, because they aren't. Have some basic decency. Legal or not, people get possessive of names. Login names, nicknames, names of their favorite software. Kindness and understanding get a lot further in life than denigration.

3. The people who *picked* the name need to remember that while they may be the ones who make the decisions, the users are the ones who determine whether a project is a success or not. Not, again, that it 'must be changed immediately!' or anything like that--but when a lot of people express dissatisfaction, even unrelated to the Firebird database, that ought to at least provoke thought. (Personally, I think the trend towards cars is just stupid. That's my opinion. I'm entitled to it.)

4. The people who *didn't* pick the name need to remember that the people who did are not exactly Evil Overlords bent on world domination. Nor are they subject to our every whim. They have work to do.

5. The people who develop Firebird-the-database need to take a deep breath and relax. If they produced a web browser, or for that matter produced any kind of software designed mostly for general consumers, it might be a real concern, but the sort of person looking for a database to use is *not* generally going to be the sort of person easily confused by naming conflicts. They know they want a database, not a web browser, and should be able to figure out relatively quickly that Mozilla Firebird is not what they're looking for. If Mozilla Firebird's going to be targetted at the general public, there probably ought to be more concern about *them* losing users to confusion.

And all of that really just boils down into 'calm down and be considerate of others'. None of this is the end of the world. This does prove, however, why naming of products is generally left to people with major marketing savvy--it's a complicated thing!