Christopher Blizzard of mozilla.org Speaks on the Firebird Naming Conflict
Wednesday May 14th, 2003
Last week, CNET News.com published another report on the Firebird naming conflict. Claiming that the application of the Mozilla branding guidelines is tantamount to a back down on the part of mozilla.org, the article credits Jonathan Walther with resolving the disagreement. Walther was asked to mediate by Ann Harrison, one of the administrators of the Firebird database project. The article also reiterates the database project's claims of legal righteousness, which have since been challenged by Mitchell Baker. The open-source advocacy magazine Open has also printed an article about the dispute, featuring interviews with Harrison and Walther. The piece appears to fully support the position of the Firebird database project and lavishes praise on Walther. Neither article contains any statements from mozilla.org.
More recently, the Australian LinuxWorld also awarded victory to the Firebird database project. While the article is decidedly in favour of the database group, it does at least quote sixteen words from mozilla.org's Christopher Blizzard (compared to 478 from representatives of the Firebird database community). The report makes several bizzare statements (including a claim that MozillaZine is run by Asa Dotzler), mentions an open letter allegedly sent by Walther to Harrison and MozillaZine (we've never seen it) and finishes off with an advert for the next week's Firebird database conference. It looks like you'll have to go to sites like MozillaNews if you want to read any remotely pro-Mozilla coverage. Thanks to everyone who sent us links to articles.
We at MozillaZine weren't satisfied with the rather one-sided reporting from the mainstream tech news sites, so we got in touch with mozilla.org to find out their real position. As a result, we're pleased to present an exclusive interview with Christopher Blizzard, the Red Hat employee and mozilla.org staff member who authored the Mozilla branding guidelines.
Update! LWN.net have a report on the interview. The first reader comment on their article is from Jonathan Walther. It makes it very clear where he stands on the issue.
Yup, the story is on Slashdot, but it wasn't me who done the deed.
For the record, I wanted Slashdot to get this interview up as they have had plenty of stories about the Firebird name change already (1 name change entry, 3 F*rebirdSQL vs. Mozilla Firebird entries prior to this) and I think this is the clearest, most even article on the subject thus far. I would rather the /. contingent remember THIS article than the pseudo-legalistic threats the DB people were spouting.
By the way, these entries have been some of the bigger /. discussion-starters in the last month. This hasn't exactly been low on the radar before today.
Now the funny part of this post: What HAS been low on the radar at /. is the F*rebirdSQL project. A search for the "contested" word brings up a Slashdot entry from August 2000 stating the project existed (news of the fork from Interbase), an October 2001 "Ask Slashdot" entry than mentioned it in passing, and an April 2002 entry about the project going gold. For the year from April 2002 to April 2003 that was it.
** DISCLAIMER: I only searched Slashdot for Firebird, IBPhoenix, and Interbase. YRMV. **