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.

#77 Re: Confusion

by jgraham

Saturday May 17th, 2003 3:45 AM

You are replying to this message

>MY whole complaint all along is that I already have a Firebird browser on every one of my customers desktops

Right so why do you think a link to 'Mozilla Browser' is going to cause confusion? (I know that the branding strategy is released after the name announcement, but that is irrelevent to the naming situation. Also, I wouldn't recommend switching your users to Mozilla Firebird yet, at least until the end of the Mozilla 1.5 cycle so the project has a chance to mature and stabilise) Alternativly, if you have that much control over your user's desktops, would it not be possible to change the link to read 'Internet Browser' or some other non-conflicting term? I would guess from a UI perspective that, if the Web Browser is just for reading documentation, the best link on the desktop would read "Firebird Documentation".

Also, what do you think is wrong with having Netscape on your client's desktop? Netscape and other distributions like Beonex <> are targeted at end users and will offer support if you need it. They are probably more appropriate than builds for deployment in that situation, unless you need the cutting edge features in newer Mozilla builds.

>End of discussion

Only if you're unwilling to be reasonable. Out of interest, do you believe that putting select words in capitals adds weight to your point?