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.
#57 Re: They knew last December
Thursday May 15th, 2003 3:17 PM
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That would perhaps explain why no reply at my end - it would have been sent to asa@ becasue that was the address on the message you posted at the time. I am simply a Firebird user who saw alarm bells when the name was suggested, but when the coments on the fact that the name Firebird was being used I did not try again as I assumed that people were listening. At the time I was fighting versions of Netscape trying to find one that provided the eMail facilities present in 4.7x and which finally appeared in Mozilla in version 1.2+. I had switched to Netscape 6.2, and transfered everything over, but by the first week of December it crashed and destroyed all the users accounts, don't ask me why, but I could not access that eMail from 4.79 and had to restore an end of November eMail backup. All of this corresponding with Netscape6 not playing ball when I tried to register with Mozillazine, so I was pissed of on several accounts. It was not until January when I got back to a stable internet setup using Mozilla 1.2. There was no mention of Firebird in the discussions at that time, so again I assumed it had blown over.