Mitchell Baker on the Firebird Naming Dispute
Monday May 12th, 2003
Mitchell Baker, mozilla.org's Chief Lizard Wrangler, has recently been in contact with Ann Harrison, an administrator of the Firebird database project, and Mark O'Donohue, President of the FirebirdSQL Foundation. Mitchell has posted a copy of a recent letter she sent to Harrison and O'Donohue to netscape.public.mozilla.seamonkey. In the message, she describes how mozilla.org firmly believes that Mozilla Firebird is not infringing on the Firebird database trademark but that the name will eventually give way to 'Mozilla Browser' as the focus of development shifts towards standalone applications.
Some recent media articles have declared the Firebird database community as the victors in the naming dispute. Later this week, MozillaZine hopes to publish an exclusive interview with a senior mozilla.org staff member, which will shed some new light on the situation and clarify mozilla.org's current position.
#14 Re: Boohoo
Tuesday May 13th, 2003 7:49 AM
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> They (IBPhoenix) had the name before Mozilla and it's a cheesy as hell name at that. Give products names that mean something and you build a better brand. Firebird for a muscle car is great but for software it's hokey.
Can you please explain to me why Firebird is a "great" name for a muscle car, but is "cheesy as hell" for a technology product? It does not "mean" anything more in a car context than it does in a web-browser, database, or BBS context. It does not, for that matter, mean anything less than "Mozilla", "Phoenix", or even "Hamburger".
I do agree that this whole mess could have been avoided, considering that the Mozilla team seems to be now moving away from a name at all. But really, what has it changed? Nothing. Some people will be upset and might not use Mozilla as their browser, but I don't believe that people who merely pick a browser based on how "nice" the development team is are really the audience that Mozilla is aiming for.