Full Article Attached Christopher Blizzard of Speaks on the Firebird Naming Conflict

Wednesday May 14th, 2003

Last week, CNET 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, 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

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'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 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 staff member who authored the Mozilla branding guidelines.

Update! 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.

#64 Eheh.

by leafdigital

Friday May 16th, 2003 5:41 AM

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'None of the rest of the world'? None of the rest of the world gives a shit; none of the rest of the world confuses browsers with databases either...

Good to see continuing to seem utterly reasonable in their responses.

Basically all this seems to confirm is that there are huge numbers of mindless sheep in the open source world, ready to jump at everything vaguely corporate [look at the massive anti-MS kneejerkism] - and with a lack of skill in negotiations, or even getting things in perspective.

It's depressing how few moderately sensibly run open source projects there are (Mozilla being one, Apache being another...) - it seems like any project smaller than 'huge' tends to become a stupid pissing-contest of weak coders / strong egos.

As for the use (not in this post I'm replying to) of 'we'/'us' etc. - I personally have absolutely nothing to do with the Mozilla project, nothing whatsoever. I've reported a few bugs, that's it. I am not part of the project, I'm just a user... so the use of 'we' or 'us' would be inappropriate. I suspect the same applies to many other people using that term, and I kind of wish they would avoid it: it smacks of the same kind of stupid tribalism that the FirebirdSQL people exemplified so blatantly.