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Firebird Name Debate Enters a New Stage

CowboyNeal posted about 11 years ago | from the browser-by-any-other-name dept.

Mozilla 711

An anonymous reader writes "As many readers will know, mozilla.org was asked to change the name for their standalone browser, Phoenix as another browser had the same name. After months of discussion, the new name was announced as Mozilla Firebird. Despite the new name being approved by AOL Legal, supporters of the FirebirdSQL database were quick to object (though the name is also used by many other people). A coincidentally named supporter of FirebirdSQL, IBPhoenix, put up a slightly immature request for their readers to participate in mass posting campaign targetting mozilla.org developers' email accounts, newsgroups and even forums at independent sites such as MozillaZine and Slashdot. FirebirdSQL's official site later reiterated this message. However, IBPhoenix have now declared this shock-and-awe stage of their campaign over, heralding it a success. Their second stage calls for a more focussed email protest at just two of mozilla.org's members: Mitchell Baker (mozilla.org's leader) and Asa Dotzler (announcer of the name change). In addition, they ask their readers to move away from 'derogatory messages' and to show more 'courtesy'. Unsurprisingly, the beleaguered admins of affected sites such as MozillaZine have welcomed this change of direction. This is getting very interesting!"

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757741)

Frost Pist

SP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757746)

Socond Pest. Word up, G.

beleagured admins? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757743)

I guess Mozilla was found dead this morning :-)

wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757752)

This is getting very interesting!

No, it isn't.

The new name (1)

chrispl (189217) | about 11 years ago | (#5757754)

Personally I don't like the new name at all. The whole Firebird/Thunderbird reminds me too much of a muscle cars. Come on they could have come up with something better than that.

This is just a big mess isn't it?

Re:The new name (2, Insightful)

lvdrproject (626577) | about 11 years ago | (#5757882)

I agree. It's just so much water under the bridge now, so there's no point trying to get people to agree with me or anything, but i absolutely hate the new names that've been chosen for the various Mozilla-based browsers. "Chimera", i think, was an excellent name for a browser, and "Camino" or whatever it is now, is retarded. And "Firebird"? How generic can you get? That name has been used for EVERYTHING.

Anyway, if everybody is going to be as childish and immature as these FirebirdSQL jack-asses are, they should probably just change the names of all of their browsers to some random number, or a code, or something. Maybe then people won't kick and stomp about it.

"5047bc596a4bab2dc7f7c120bb22dec5" has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

I got a name for em! (5, Funny)

Nate Fox (1271) | about 11 years ago | (#5757755)

how bout Daawtrtdfw? Google turns up nothing, so I'm sure its not taken.

smile, you'll live longer. :)

No, (5, Funny)

pb (1020) | about 11 years ago | (#5757763)

I think that's a well-known Welsh browser, actually.

Are you sure you weren't searching English-only? :)

Re:I got a name for em! (1)

Sevn (12012) | about 11 years ago | (#5757846)

I vote Gazorninplat. That's a great name for a
browser. 3 cool points to the first person that
knows where that word came from.

Re:I got a name for em! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757890)

Bob Newhart if I'm not mistaken. As in "To be or not to be. That is the gazorninplat"

No cool points needed though. I'm cool enough already. :P

Re:I got a name for em! (5, Funny)

klui (457783) | about 11 years ago | (#5757913)

New tag line: It's spelled Daawtrtdfw but pronounced Phoenix. Hell, I sure can't pronounce how it's spelled.

How about calling it... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757757)


"Interesting" My Foot (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757758)

This shows how hostile some members of the OSS crowd can be over something so simple as a name.

This is the same crowd that gets excited when corporations try to take domain names from people who have had them for years. Using this same logic, shouldn't Mozilla switch their name since FirebirdSQL used it first? Prior art and all...

This kind of petty (it's just a name), inmature (flooding people's e-mail), public arguing is one of the reasons Linux isn't getting the acceptance it should.

Re:"Interesting" My Foot (5, Interesting)

Dub Kat (183404) | about 11 years ago | (#5757830)

This could also be just a smart move by the FirebirdSQL team. The project has been relatively obscure up until now, but with the /. articles people are much more aware of its existence.

Maybe their methods aren't the greatest, but this is a good chance for them to raise awareness. The project should get more attention anyways, it's up there with Postgres (or maybe better) as a high-quality enterprise database (formerly SAP DB).

Re:"Interesting" My Foot (1)

den_erpel (140080) | about 11 years ago | (#5757870)

This kind of petty (it's just a name), inmature (flooding people's e-mail), public arguing is one of the reasons Linux isn't getting the acceptance it should.

Perhaps you are referring to the buy off [wired.com] and other [google.be] techniques some companies use for manipulating the world to their will.

I'm not saying they have not right to do this, but your argument here is flawed.

Re:"Interesting" My Foot (2, Insightful)

AugustMoon (593085) | about 11 years ago | (#5757899)

This kind of petty (it's just a name), inmature (flooding people's e-mail), public arguing is one of the reasons Linux isn't getting the acceptance it should. While I agree tactless spamming public forums and private email boxes is a bit immature, I think protecting your name is not petty at all. In the open source world what other sense of identity do you have but your name? There is no company affiliated with these products. "Internet Explorer" is still "Microsoft's Browser" but Mozilla, FirebirdSQL, and IBPhoenix are the only sources of identity and market presense these groups have. As for the public arguing, I think it would be worse if one group just rolled over for another. And I doubt this affects open source's PR negatively. There is bound to be some conflict at times. Mike

Re:"Interesting" My Foot (-1, Troll)

twilight30 (84644) | about 11 years ago | (#5757933)

Too right. I honestly believe that anyone who gets so worked up over this should seriously take a semantics course and move on to reading Joyce's Ulysses, some Guy Debord, and Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces, smoke a bowl or six, and learn to relax a bit.

That goes double for RMS. While I think he has a point, it's just a technology.

So... who's going to object next? (1)

imtheguru (625011) | about 11 years ago | (#5757760)


Indian names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757895)

Pontiac? How about Iroquois? Or any other Indian name? Cheyanne, oops, taken. Let's try Lingham. That's the ticket...

Re:So... who's going to object next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757928)


Did you hear about the nigga who bought a Pontiac? Po' Ol' Nigga Thought It Was A Cadillac!

Shock and Awe? (5, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | about 11 years ago | (#5757764)

If it were my choice, the childish email campaign would just make me more determined to keep the firebird name. Sending offensive messages to people who have nothing to do with the name change is no way to get things done. Maybe AOL can send it's lawyers after IBPhoenix for DoSing them. They can easily show damages in lost developer time deleting the messages and extra load on their mail server.

ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Re:Shock and Awe? (1)

jkrise (535370) | about 11 years ago | (#5757909)

Absolutely! Actually AOL should keep this debate simmering for about 23 days - until the shock and awe is gone. They should reluctantly change the name at the end of it all, should get enough publicity.

Contrary to earlier perception, this debate is actually doing a lot of good to Open Source stuff - keep it up.

Re:Shock and Awe? (5, Funny)

Draigon (172034) | about 11 years ago | (#5757930)

Where do I sign the petition to prevent the words "Shock and Awe" to ever be used together again? If I have an aneurysm, you'll know why.

One Man's Opinion (4, Insightful)

BurritoWarrior (90481) | about 11 years ago | (#5757766)

I do not think that the Moz team should use Phoenix. Even though it probably passses a legal litmus test, as they are very different products, that doesn't mean they should continue to use it.

I think it would be nice to show some respect to another open source project which precedes yours. I am sure that if the database guys called their product MozillaDatabase, the Mozilla team wouldn't be very happy, and I am sure there would be an outcry on Slashdot. Or better yet, how about Microsoft changes one of their product to the name Phoenix. How about instead of MSN Messenger they call it MSN Firebird? Would everyone here tell the Firebird/Moz team to "quit crying"?

I guess the summary is, just play nice with others and change the name out of courtesy for others.

Re:One Man's Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757801)

I wouldn't confuse FirebirdSQL Datebase with Mozilla Firebird Browser. What they did was childish and petty. I really couldn't care less what IBPhoenix wants.

Ok, here's the thing (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 11 years ago | (#5757878)

First, minor correction they are chainging it FROM Phoenix (to Firebird) not TO Phoenix.

Now, the real thing is that people need to stop getting to damn defensive over names. The browser Phoenix had a legitimate beef, I mean you have two browsers of the same name. That is really confusing. However the SQL Firebird people need to sit down and shut up.

Firebird is NOT an orignal name by any strech of the imagination. I can easily name one Firebird that predates both of them: the Pontiac Firebird (a car). When you pick a popular name, you need to be prepared for other people to use it as well. Also, if you aren't the first to use it, you certianly have no right ot bitch when someone else picks it up as well.

Like I said, the Phoenix browser had a legit complaint. Here you had two of the same kind of product named the same thing. I can gaurentee GMC would raise hell if Chrysler introduced the Dodge Firebird car. However they won't mind about either the database or browser, as they are clearly different products.

Hell, the same is true of Phoenix. In additon to being a mythical bird, it is also the name of the captial city of the state Arizona. I bet if you talk to most people and ask what they associate Phoenix with, it will be the mythical bird or the city, not the browser. It is not an orignal name and the city of Phoenix will not be screaming at the browser to change its name as most people can tell the difference.

Unless you have a truly orignal name you really can't whine about people in unrelated fields using it too. After all, you borrowed it from somewhere else. Even if you do think up an orignal name (which Firebird is not) you still can't really complain if someone with an unrelated product uses it. After all, what is the harm? No one will confuse the two since they are different.

However, so long as there are other, older Firebirds than the database, these people are just being whiny with no good reason.

Re:One Man's Opinion (1)

dabadab (126782) | about 11 years ago | (#5757900)

Gimme a break.
Mozilla is a unique name which is very much recognized as a brand, but Firebird is not.
There is/was a car, a game development company, a game, a raceway, a music publisher, a book publisher and a thousand million other things with that name.
This protest is almost like if he complained about someone being called John, just because that is his name too. Childish.

Re:One Man's Opinion (5, Informative)

smcn (87571) | about 11 years ago | (#5757908)

According to the Phoenix (now Firebird) project page, [mozilla.org] they already went through months of legal investigation and deemed Firebird a perfectly usable and un-infringing name. There is no way they will change it now.

Also, considering the Firebird Database is an open source project, I doubt they would be able/willing to bring up a lawsuit for the name anyhow.

They are 100% right. (-1, Flamebait)

ceeam (39911) | about 11 years ago | (#5757769)

Look - those Phoenix guys _need_ to change the name because there was (still is?) a "Phoenix" _BIOS_.
Ok - they change it to Firebird. Huh? There is an open source SQL DB? So - WTF... They are the same hippy open source punks just like us so it's no problem that we walk over them. What an attitude!

Re:They are 100% right. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757834)

hey, assfuck, pay attention. phoenix, the makers of the well-known bios, also have a lesser known browser.

the firebird database people don't, to my knowledge have a browser.

Re:They are 100% right. (4, Informative)

sweetooth (21075) | about 11 years ago | (#5757845)

The problem is not Phoenix bios, it's the Phoenix Technologies _BROWSER_ for embedded systems. Hence they are similar and could be confusing.

The same is not true of the Firebird SQL software. They are in differant spaces and in my opinion are not likely to be confused. The IBPhoenix guy also handled the situation poorly and doesn't merit a response.

Re:They are 100% right. (2, Interesting)

ceeam (39911) | about 11 years ago | (#5757853)

To which I say: who cares? As long as people (managers) will be confusing the things. (Like: "Firebird DB? Must be from the same guys that do Firebird Browser. I tried that, didn't like it. Hence - we are not using the DB." etc...).

Open source politics? (2, Insightful)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | about 11 years ago | (#5757776)

This seems more then anything to be nothing but open-source politics. People should spend more time coding better software then arguing about the names of that software.

Go Calculate Something [webcalc.net]

Re:Open source politics? (-1, Troll)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | about 11 years ago | (#5757852)

This post has been modded as "flamebait", but what do they expect from posting this so called "article"? Can people mod the initial post?

What it should be called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757778)

Mr Potato head

I don't get it.. (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | about 11 years ago | (#5757779)

I'm still wondering why they wanted to change the name in the first place. What was wrong with Phoenix for a name?

Re:I don't get it.. (2, Informative)

amlutias (24318) | about 11 years ago | (#5757826)

phoenix bios has a browser for embedded systems and they own the TM on phoenix.

Cutesy names are retarded. (2, Funny)

juuri (7678) | about 11 years ago | (#5757780)

Just call it "Open Source Web Browser" or "Open Browser".

Re:Cutesy names are retarded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757850)

Just call it "Open Source Web Browser" or "Open Browser".

They can't do that, I am already manufacturing a barbecue called "Open Source Web Browser". I call on all slashdotter's to send offensive messages to juuri!

This is getting very interesting... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757781)

...or is it [campushook.com]?
it is.

Now hurry up and release 0.6!

It doesn't seem like a big mess to me (1)

mharris007 (142886) | about 11 years ago | (#5757782)

Ok, so someone else in the Open Source community is using FireBird as part of its products name, big deal!!! C'mon guys get over this bickering like little children and grow up.

Thank heavens they made the call to try and put forth a much more professional boycott regime.

Why complain this way? (4, Interesting)

tolldog (1571) | about 11 years ago | (#5757784)

I find it hard to believe that this is how adults react in such a situation?

Do they think that annoying some group of people will make it better? If I were the mozilla group I would have issues with giving in. Brute force does not mean its right.

A database and a browser are not the same. There would not be any confusion. There has to be a better way to handle this.

I think I would be less likely to use or work on the database project now... all because on how they reacted.

Re:Why complain this way? (3, Insightful)

wadetemp (217315) | about 11 years ago | (#5757836)

I find it hard to believe that this is how adults react in such a situation?

Do you live on the same planet I do? Here on Terra the reaction of adults is wholely unpredictable. Myself included. Of course a database and a browser are the same. Let us send our nasty Terran rage mail in peace please.

I see it as Mozilla.org's duty (5, Funny)

Sevn (12012) | about 11 years ago | (#5757785)

to completely ignore these idiots and definitely
keep the name to spite them now. It might not be
a bad idea to write some sort of redirection or
"pitty party" filter code that rewrites the
offending morons websites like Opera did with

Give me a break. (-1, Flamebait)

Flakeloaf (321975) | about 11 years ago | (#5757791)

These squabbling children are worse than two women who discover they're both wearing the same dress*.

(*er... which is to say, each of them is wearing exactly one dress that looks just like what the other is wearing. Two women wearing a single dress causes a whole new slew of problems)

I know the difference between a browser and a database. If someone says "my Windows crashed", I don't go running to look for the big empty spot in the wall. These people are inventing a problem where none exists.

Non-story (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757793)

The use of the name in this case is non-confusing and the SQL people with their database have no basis for interfering with the Mozilla people and their specialty browser. The only reason Phoenix had trouble was that the BIOS maker also had actual browser functionality being marketed under the Phoenix name. This sameness does not apply in the case of FireBird. To conclude, someone should bitch-slap these children for running a spam campaign to annoy one group of open-source programmers to change their non-similar project's name. What would be appropriate at this stage is if the SQL folks would give up their name as contrition for their inappropriate steps.

We at Mozilla... (0, Informative)

raehl (609729) | about 11 years ago | (#5757794)

We at Mozilla believe that having a browser and database group with the same name in the same market is confusing. We ask our users to make their concerns known to IBPhoenix so that they may understand the problem they have created and take appropriate action. You should consider writing to:

(This is where I would put the emails of all the IBPhoneix people if I was not incredibly lazy.)

"With my last breath, I stab at thee" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757795)

"Despite the new name being approved by AOL Legal, supporters of the FirebirdSQL database were quick to object (though the name is also used by many other people). A coincidentally named supporter of FirebirdSQL, IBPhoenix, put up a slightly immature request for their readers to participate in mass posting campaign targetting mozilla.org developers' email accounts, newsgroups and even forums at independent sites such as MozillaZine and Slashdot. FirebirdSQL's official site later reiterated this message. However, IBPhoenix have now declared this shock-and-awe stage of their campaign over, heralding it a success. "

Sounds similiar to tactics we hear around here, when it's a company or person we don't agree with. How many times have we heard "everyone E-mail them" or we're going to "/." their site?

Sounds like bad karma coming home to roost.

Just going to have to make up a word (3, Insightful)

gaminRey (569220) | about 11 years ago | (#5757797)

This is the problem with using a word from any established language. No matter what you choose, it is very likely that someone, somewhere is already using it, and won't like you using it. This is even more likely to happen if you use a word that has some kind of "coolness" or "geek" factor. This of course is not to say I think the name Firebird is at all interesting. In fact, it just doesn't roll off the tongue well enough for me use it. As for me and my house, we shall use "phoenix" unless someone gives me good reason to do otherwise.

It's a moot point. (4, Insightful)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about 11 years ago | (#5757799)

It's all foolish. If they called it FirebirdSQL, that would be one thing. But the word "firebird" is still free use. Just like how we can stil call windows windows, even though Microsoft would probably try to claim otherwise, given the chance. But, since you can't claim a word like that as your own, we have windows, instead of "transparent-but-solid wall portals." Same goes for firebird. Besides, it also helps that they're different products. You can legally claim it as infringement if they name their product the same (or similar) to yours *if* it's the same (or similar) product. But, in this case, they aren't the same (nor similar). Nobody will confuse the two. They can call it firebird if they want to.

HotWings (4, Funny)

sssmashy (612587) | about 11 years ago | (#5757800)

In keeping with the Fiery Bird Motif of Firebird and Phoenix (a mythical bird that bursts into flame and is reborn)...

May I suggest that they change the name to "HotWings" to avoid futher disputes. Has a nice ring to it, eh?

Re:HotWings (1)

cei (107343) | about 11 years ago | (#5757828)

You, sir, have gone too far with the blanket term "Fiery [fiery.com] Bird [larrybird.com] Motif [opengroup.org]". I hearby ask that you cease all further utterances.

Re:HotWings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757854)

This would be angering another formidable corporation: McDonalds China.

Your right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757803)

This is getting interesting. But not for the reason the editors advertise it...

The IBPhoenix starts a (suposedly 'sucessful') spam campaign targeted partly at Slashdot.

What's the most harmful thing Slashdot can do in return?

Slashdot them.

Pathetic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757804)

This is really patetic, and quite sad. While I have to agree that the new names are quite unorignal, FirebirdSQL and IBPhoenix are just using this as a Publicity Stunt.
I personlly don't think FirebirdSQL has a leg to stand on. it would be intersting to bring the antispam legeslation against these morons. I hope this whole thing back fires royaly on IBPhoenix & FirebirdSQL.

Settle this like real nerds (2, Funny)

tankdilla (652987) | about 11 years ago | (#5757811)

they should settle this in the ring. But they're nerds, so Battlefield 1942 should be a suitable ring. Allied vs. Axis => Mozilla vs IBPhoenix. Winner gets their way.

Based on my research... (1)

beerits (87148) | about 11 years ago | (#5757814)

The only names not yet trademarked
are Popplers and Zitzles. I suggest Popplers.

Re:Based on my research... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757898)

How about taste-sicles

Did they trademark the name? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | about 11 years ago | (#5757815)

If not, then they should just STFU. Firebird is a common term, searching for "Firebird" isn't going to turn up their database without "SQL" attached, so who cares?

OTOH, I think "Firebird" and "Thunderbird" are pretty lame names, and I wish Moz would go back to the old ones.

Re:Did they trademark the name? (1, Funny)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 11 years ago | (#5757839)

OTOH, I think "Firebird" and "Thunderbird" are pretty lame names, and I wish Moz would go back to the old ones.

Like what? "Netscape 3.0 gold"?

Its all one big scam, for Media Attention and $ ! (1)

westyvw (653833) | about 11 years ago | (#5757816)

All parties interested are in on this one. Watch this logic: Step 1: Use other peoples names in your product Step 2: Complain, get Media Attention Step 3: Ask for Mass Emailing! Step 4: Sell those emails to spammers Step 5: PROFIT! Seriously, would I have heard about the other browser or the database? How many more names will "pop up"? Heh. WestyVW

This is very childish. (3, Insightful)

blaqsun (643717) | about 11 years ago | (#5757817)

I think it's really telling how healthy a community is when all they manage to do is spend time and energy flaming and mailbombing one another regarding a project's name. Couldn't they be coding instead?

How about Bennu? (5, Interesting)

steve's nose is blee (636466) | about 11 years ago | (#5757818)

Staying in the Mythical Birds and flame categories, how about a new name that doesn't step on toes, opensource or otherwise,

I propose:

Bennu - Heron-like Phoenix of Egyptian mythology. It arose from the flames of Heliopolis and was worshipped as the soul of Orisis incarnate.

http://members.tripod.com/~Ertosi/Folklore/Mythi ca lBirds/BennuMC.html

Name propositions for Phoenix browser... (1, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | about 11 years ago | (#5757821)

How about Apache Navigator, PHP Explorer or plain simple MySQL?

But I guess Phallus is still a popular favorite. :)

It's all about the name (1)

japorms (559865) | about 11 years ago | (#5757829)

Let's face it. No matter what Phoenix's name will become, people will claim its their namesake. I really hope this is resolved soon before it becomes known as the "Browser formerly known as Phoenix". (Hey it happened to Prince.) :P

who the hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757833)

ever heard of FirebirdSQL before this?
nobody. they should be thankful a useful
product brought them some attention.

Rediculous. (1)

soccerisgod (585710) | about 11 years ago | (#5757840)

This really is one of the most stupid things I've heard all day long, and it's already 9:24 am.

When I first heard of the name change, I sure as hell wasn't thinking of some SQL server, I was thinking of a cute black casing, neat features and a price I couldn't pay -- the Tandy Firebird. That was 10 years ago, and I really wanted that PC. Err.. anyway. It's a name that's been used to death. Next time they need a name they should ask me - I can come up with pretty original ones.

Question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757844)

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why does it matter from now on? (0, Redundant)

lingqi (577227) | about 11 years ago | (#5757855)

Since Phonix / firebird / whatever it will change to will be intergrated into Moz ANYWAY, why not just call it moz.browser and moz.mail and moz.chat or something?

Heck even M$ has realized that keeping up with multiple names and multiple "product images" are silly and effort-consuming, and .NET will be named "Windows server family" or some such.

i mean, if it's a code name, fine - you use it INTERNALLY and you can call it whatever you want. Seriously though, people...

Just call it Mozilla (0)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 11 years ago | (#5757871)

This is really dumb and making all parties involved look really childish. What doesn't Mozilla just call their browser Mozilla. Silly huh? I mean, when you people ask you what browser you use, you don't say Firebird, you say Mozilla. yah yah - Mozilla is a platform - blah blah blah - all news and press call it Mozilla. It's labelled Mozilla - call it Mozilla. This whole thing is a too much hot air over a non-issue.

And if there are sides to be taken, I support the database people since they are being acted upon by the open source's equiv of the 800 lb gorilla. Mozilla is acting like some other company know and they should be called on it.

now burn me up

Re:Just call it Mozilla (1)

bobbozzo (622815) | about 11 years ago | (#5757919)

They do call it Mozilla.
Phoenix (and Chimera, ...) are OTHER browsers, based on the same Gecko renderer, etc., but are not the same as the Mozilla browser.

Mozilla.org's Leader? (1)

zonix (592337) | about 11 years ago | (#5757872)

Mitchell Baker (mozilla.org's leader)

... that's Chief Lizard Wrangler to you, dude! :-)

Jokes aside, this situation is quite unfortunate and I hope it gets sorted out soon. Less fighting, more coding - can't we all just get along?


Open Source Psychology (2, Insightful)

Farley Mullet (604326) | about 11 years ago | (#5757879)

One of the terms that often gets thrown around when discussing open source software is the "Open Source Community", and I suspect that one of the most important features of this community is the recognition that is accorded to developers, so project names take on a special significance in the OSS community, almost paralleling their significance in the world of commercial software. In the world of commercial software names are important for marketing purposes, while in the open source world, project names are important because of the cachet value that having your name associated with a project brings. So just as a commercial product named x would suffer adverse effects if a dominant company were to name their product x, so does Firebird-the-database when the second-or-third most successful OSS project (behind the Linux kernel and maybe apache) decides to take the name Firebird-the-browser.

Having said that, this all seems pretty silly, and it occurs to me that mass mailing campaigns aren't the mature way to deal with this, even if egos are involved. If this were a commercial situation (if the lawyers weren't involved) a mutually beneficial solution would be negotiated between the grown-ups running the two projects. It seems to me that this is the best course of action in this case as well.


posted while drunk-as-in-bourbon.

Sheer Pointlessness (4, Insightful)

Wtcher (312395) | about 11 years ago | (#5757880)

Trying to trademark the name "Firebird" is like trying to trademark the word "Sky" or the word "Video". Some of these SQL guys seem to have way too much time on their hands and I think they should relax - as someone else as said, they /are/ getting free publicity... and it really isn't as if the browser folk were creating another database. Personally, I was quite enamoured with the name Phoenix.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all the time in the business world. >_< The new thing, though, was the e-mail campaign - seems a tad childish because it needlessly makes it more difficult for the developers to keep up with other mail. The least they could've done was simply meet with eachother cordially.

I have come up with a name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757884)


I don't think it's currently in use by any existing project, but you'd better hurry.

Name it "Ph"indows! Imagine the fallout. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757889)


Screw this. (0, Interesting)

Scotch Game (442068) | about 11 years ago | (#5757891)

This is bull. If Microsoft pulled something like this, a bunch of open-source weenies would be storming Slashdot with signs, torches and pitchforks denouncing the unfriendly rule of a malevolent dictator. Because this is Mozilla though, a bunch of posts go up calling for reasonable action and logical thought, not to mention calling for the FirebirdSQL team to protest in a respectful manner. One Mozillazine poster even goes and posts that because FirebirdSQL has 0 percent market share, well, that's just tooooo bad. If anyone can't see the hypocrisy in that, well, they're blind.

Now there are similar posts here talking smack about "well who the hell knows who FirebirdSQL is anyway?" and "those immature people", all while any time a Microsoft employee farts loud enough for the guy in the next cubicle to hear it, it appears as a !!shocking post!! on Slashdot.

Also any time some remote governmental body in the furthest reaches of BFE adopts Linux to run its fileservers, its likewise heralded here so that the sheep-like masses may learn of the great advances of Unix-like OSes.

Yeah, people, I know, this is Slashdot. So let's just not even try to be even remotely even-minded, okay?

Screw the people behind this. They're twits that apparently couldn't handle the seemingly reasonable task of arriving at a name that was original (meaning that it wasn't before used by an automobile company for a popular car, or any other of a number of companies for any number of other products), creative (meaning that it didn't absolutely have to do with some kind of mythical flaming avian), and fair (meaning that they didn't decide to step on people's toes just because they finally got shoes big enough to do it). This just suggests that software developers in this space are all competing for the same pie and that ultimately it all comes down to who has the power to pull what stunt they want to pull. Mozilla's no better than Microsoft, they're just smaller.

Go ahead. Mod me down. At least I'm not baa-baa-baaing my way down the slaughterhouse chute while the rest of you are chanting the praises of the farmer.

Oh, and ... (1)

Scotch Game (442068) | about 11 years ago | (#5757923)

One last breath of vitriol. Before any /.er here posts and attempts to point out what I must have missed, that Microsoft is different because Microsoft has blah, blah, blah, frickety, blah, let me just say whatever. I'm aware the Microsoft is evil, banal, and corporate.

But my sympathy for the underdog disappears the moment it feels comfortable enough to start humping the legs of everyone else in the house, just because it's got big teeth now, and it's such a gooooood dog after all.

Smack it with a newspaper.

Silly (0)

xaaronx (660963) | about 11 years ago | (#5757894)

This seems to be an awfully silly way to go about this unless their purpose is, as someone else suggested, merely to stir up interest in their own product. It seems that Mozilla really did need to change the name from Phoenix and picked a synonymous term. If the Firebird people really care, a nice letter wxplaining their problem and maybe even suggesting another similar name (Thunderbird, Trans Am, IROC) would have been infinitely more productive, I think. Therefore I must assume either the're trying to drum up interest in Firebird the database or the people there are all vindictive eleven year olds.

Are we missing the point? (4, Insightful)

baudtender (80377) | about 11 years ago | (#5757896)

Anyone who knows the recent history of how
Interbase became Firebird appreciates just how
wretched and bloody and ugly the final months
were before it became open source. There were
folks fighting tooth and nail to give this
incredible product a fighting chance, and I have
nothing but respect for what they have achieved.
If you spend a couple of hours really, seriously
researching what this product offers, you'll
not only wonder how Borland could mismanage it
as badly as they did, but also wonder why MySQL
and PostgreSQL get so much press without being
mentioned as an afterthought. If only a tenth
of the resources were placed into Firebird as
are placed into PostgreSQL, I seriously wonder
if PostgreSQL wouldn't be largely abandoned
within the next two years.

This is a story about a beat up and exhausted
small group of core supporters coming up with a
name, and then, a year and some months later,
just as they're really starting to get the code
base they inherited under control and figured
out, a much bigger and well known crew picks
that same name. It isn't that the Mozilla team
couldn't keep the Firebird name - it's that they
shouldn't. It isn't that anyone will confuse
a web browser with a RDBMS, it's that it's a
completely unnecessary risk that anyone could.

It's about essential respect in the open source
community. The Mozilla crew could win this
argument, partly based on sheer inertia, partly
based on beleaguered opponents mounting an
ineffectual fight, and partly based on the
relative resources.

But they shouldn't. And to anyone who spends any
time at all researching the issue, the Mozilla
group is clearly engaging in "friendly fire."

I deeply respect both of these projects. It's
time for both sides to raise the bar on what it
means to fight for a common cause.


I hope the SQL people succeed... (1)

horza (87255) | about 11 years ago | (#5757903)

... because I think Firebird isn't a very good name for the browser. It's all very well having it as an in-joke but the wider world won't get that. I'd keep it as Phoenix if legally the position is tenable. The name was chosen in good faith, is a good name for the browser, and has now massive brand recognition. From the Phoenix thread, I liked "Browse" best, which was/is the name of the RiscOS web browser that is available only on the Acorn platform. Simple 'lite' name, which complements the browser.


Huh? (2, Interesting)

KAMiKAZOW (455500) | about 11 years ago | (#5757904)

I'm sorry, but I don't understand what's the f*cking deal is.
Mozilla.org announced in the new roadmap that the whole Mozilla suite will be Using Phoenix/Firebird/... and Minotaur/Thunderbird/... as the base for future development.
Why doesn't Mozilla.org just rename Phoenix to Mozilla Browser NG and Minotaur to Mozilla Mail NG (NG = Next Generation) or something? That would IMHO stop confusion.

This is silly (1)

GammaTau (636807) | about 11 years ago | (#5757916)

This is just plain silly. One of my favorite pieces of classical music is called "Firebird" by Igor Stravinsky. Maybe I should start campaigning against FirebirdSQL project to stop associating their product with that piece of music?

Both of the projects have picked a word that is used in many, many contexts. As long as you pick one short English word, things like this might happen, as we can see.

However if both of the projects wish to get an unique name in this area, perhaps they should take a look at projects like fvwm2 and udhcpd that do not suffer from this problem. If they were named frbdsql and frbdhttp, all these silly battles over common words would cease. :)

Hmm... (-1, Flamebait)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 11 years ago | (#5757924)

You know, I really hate to bring myself down to such a petty and immature level, but in this case, I'll make an exception. Mozilla is a perfectly good, respected open source solutions provider. As such, its products lend a certain amount of credibility to open source in general (hey Linux people, this means you). Credibility is the key to widescale adoption within large companies and the like. You can have the best products on Earth, but if your credibility is zilch, no major business will touch it. In the spirit of showing others that this type of bahavior yields more pain than rewards, and without further adu:

I say let the fuckers have it. Hit these assholes [firebirdsql.org] first, then these pricks [ibphoenix.com]. Fill their message boards, newsletters, email boxes, and everything else you can find that'll take your submission with the following message:

"DoSing Open Source is not fun * "

Paste it into anything that'll let you 3, 4, 5 times a day. Calling Linux fanboys - this is your chance to troll while actually doing something good for a change. Hit them as often as you possibly can (or make (and post) a script to do it automatically all day long) and continue doing it until you see the story posted on slashdot saying that BOTH of them have apologized and will never do it again.

Don't post a reply if you're going ahead with it, just do it. If they're allowed to do this and get away with it, it will legitimize it in a way we never want to see. Unfortunatly, I see no alternative to dealing with this issue other than giving these people a taste of their own medicine.

call me an asshole.. (1)

sickboy_macosX (592550) | about 11 years ago | (#5757925)

but if the FireBird SQL Project [firebirdsql.com] had a product, with all the international use, why havent i (or any of the guys i happen to work with) heard of this product?? After that immature posting that the article mentioned, i would not change my name, we all know AOL [aol.com] is just as powerful as Microsoft [fuckmicrosoft.com] so why dont they just go and kick some open source ass..

Children, children! (0, Redundant)

Zenjive (247697) | about 11 years ago | (#5757927)

Play nice now. Little Johnny, time out for you! No email priviledges, go sit in the corner.

names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5757932)

It's really hard to think of new names. I thought of a new name one time, and used it on the internet. Google never returned a query for it. There is no way anybody had this name before in the history of mankind. Ever since I used it on the net, all kinds of people used that name. It wasn't even *that* cool of a name. No I'm not going to tell you the fucking name, but I think you understand how frustrating it can be to think of an orginal name that is pronouncable with vowels and consonants.
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