DevX Review of Mozilla Firebird

Wednesday June 4th, 2003

Paul Gittings writes: "DevX has a positive article, Mozilla Firebird Raises the Browser Bar, reviewing Mozilla's Firebird."

#37 But the point isn't to beat IE as a browser...

by Millennium

Monday June 9th, 2003 9:55 AM

You are replying to this message

"Did you try it?"

Yes. Very nice, but since they're STEALING someone ELSE"S name -a highly immoral act- they must be PUNISHED ^_^

"I was serious, and I had reasons for my claims other than being emotional about Mozilla."

Um, I'm not emotional about Mozilla at all. I think that you're being ridiculous, I will admit, but that has nothing to do with emotion.

"I think, rather than answering your question, you want me to explain how stealing a name from a small, poor database company is different from stealing a name from a large, rich automobile manufacturer."

Actually, we could start by answering the question of how they are "stealing" a name.

My real name is not particularly common. In fact, I've only once ever heard it used on TV. This was, I will admit, a rather shocking experience for me the first time it happened, because I wasn't used to hearing my name but not having it refer to me. But was I in any way hurt, diminished, or undermined because of it? Certainly not. Nor was my identity undermined because someone else happened to have the same name as me.

But once we figure out this definition of what stealing a name is, then yes, we could move on to what makes "stealing from the DB people" different from "stealing from the auto manufacturers". Isn't it stealing regardless, or is it not stealing if the victim is rich? By the way, the database company behind Firebird is anything but poor. They're not Oracle by any means, but don't cast them as something they are not.

"Using the name for the web browser obviously did hurt the database people."

Let's see your proof of this. Indeed, from the numbers I've seen, this has only brought the Firebird database more attention -and, therefore, users, if you subscribe to the idea that eyeballs equal users- than before.

"I did answer. I will answer again for you."

You call that an answer? I thought you were joking, because I doubted any sane person would seriously answer in that particular way, given how easy it is to rip apart. I see that I may have misjudged you on at least one of those aspects.

"They should have called it Mozilla OS 9. Surely the Mozilla Browser people would not be upset if everybody that searched for "Mozilla" found the Apple website and a thousand pages devoted to it."

Perhaps, perhaps not. That would not be Apple's problem, nor is it Mozilla's. Perhaps they should work on organizing a campaign to improve their search engine ranking. Or perhaps they might realize that people looking for a DBMS will be searching chiefly on database-related terms, which won't hit any Mozilla-related pages at all, except for people on both sides of the Moz/Firebird debate who whine about it on their pages, which will then show up as both browser and database pages (does this mean that your incessant posting about the DB on MozillaZine might be upping the signal to noise ratio, thus hurting your beloved DB more than it helps?). Those who are looking for Firebird by name will likely already know that they're looking for a DBMS. So, when they get a page full of browser results, they'll simply refine their search term to "Firebird DB" or something to that effect, and it will all be sorted out. People who are looking for a DBMS are, generally speaking, more than intelligent enough to do this.

"Note 'OS' is an acronym, meaning 'operating system' and that is hardly a proper noun."

True, it's not a proper noun when used on its own. However, non-noun words or abbreviations (including "OS") can be used as part of a proper noun, or more specifically, a compound proper noun. "OS" is used this way in "Mac OS 9" and "OS/9" both.

"Also note the activities of Apple have nothing to do with the morality of the Mozilla or Firebird people."

Directly, no. I'm doing what is called argument by analogy; maybe you've heard of it. I am pointing out a similar case to this one, where one company was accused of stealing the name of a totally different product. Was that moral of Apple to do? Mozilla is doing, more or less, the same thing, so how could one of these be moral while the other is not?

"Also note you seemed to want a response from me. Surely a lame Mozilla flunky will ask me why I continue to post messages."

Well, then, perhaps I'm not the "lame Mozilla flunky" you thought I was. I have pointed out that you could very well be hurting your own side's precious search-engine rankings, but that is as far as I intend to go along those lines.