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.

#9 Easy to start a dispute...

by sphealey

Wednesday May 14th, 2003 12:28 PM

You are replying to this message

A family memeber who used to act as a mediator in high-stakes contract disputes had two sayings I have always taken to heart: "It is easy to start a dispute but hard to end it" and "Never start a dispute unless you have a plan for ending it before it begins". Trite, but backed up by many years and hundreds of millions of dollars of experience. seems to have violated both of these principles. They started a dispute and then behaved in a high-handed and arrogant manner, then seem to think that they can make it go away with a few obnoxious postings and e-mails. Um, sorry - the other party tends to have a say in when the dispute is concluded. Particulary when it believes it is the victim of aggression.

And with Mozilla knowing that there was a namespace conflict, and finding out that the other party was not in agreement with Mozilla's interpretation, what was Mozilla's plan for ending the dispute? Continue to greater and greater heights of arrogance? How about trying *gasp* negotiation or *double gasp* admitting to a mistake?