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.

#79 Re: ...

by mtonies

Saturday May 17th, 2003 5:56 AM

You are replying to this message

>I think he was wrong to offer himself as mediator in this situation

He didn't. He was asked and accepted. Mind you, the role of mediator is overrated in this particular situation. He didn't do much (no offence).

>>Fact is, as an organization isn't as easy to reach as it wants to believe. > >Maybe. In general, I have found them to be easy to communicate with (that's not saying much, I haven't had much need to contact them. But, for example here (LINK) Asa was willing to engage in constructive dialog).

Can't find anything on that linked page. As for Asa - his first answers weren't exactly "friendly" towards the Firebird project. And I agree a few thousands emails (if true) wouldn't be friendly either - but he "started it".

>>"internal codename" (as it's being called _now_) > >David Tenser claims to have an email prior to the renaming announcement in which Asa stated that Firebird (then Phoenix) was going to become Mozilla Browser.

That's good. They should have mentioned that. They should have made clear that people shouldn't slap (tm) to it. They should have released the branding document together with the new name! That would have made a difference, I'm sure. Altogether, they simple should have asked :)

>I don't hear people complaining that they were looking for a holiday in Venice, Italy but accidentally booked a holiday to Venice Beach, California

I'm not worried about people finding the product. That's pretty clear. I am a bit worried about 3rd party applications, like "installing firebird" etc ... I'm glad the product isn't going to be called Firebird. 'Cause, frankly, that AOL legal guys would have done a very bad job -> cause considering TM-law, there's no difference between a web browser and a database engine.