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Firebird At 20 Years

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the the-future-moves-fast dept.

Databases 20

mAriuZ writes "From Jim Starkey: "September 4th is the 20th anniversary of what is now Firebird. I quit my job at DEC in August, took a three day end-of-summer holiday, and began work on September 4, 1984 in my new career as a software entrepreneur. As best as I can reconstruct, the first two files were cpre.c and cpre.h (C preprocessor), later changed to gpre.c and gpre.h. The files were created on a loaner DEC Pro/350, a PDP-11 personal computer that went exactly nowhere, running XENIX. Gpre was my first C program, XENIX was my first experience with Unix, and the Pro/350 was my very last (but not lamented) experience with PDP-11s.""

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And to think... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10168182)

Some wankers [] tried to steal its name.

Re:And to think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10168290)

I believe that has something to do with a name change that occurred around 2000? or was it a fork of interbase into the now well established opensource firebird?

Re:And to think... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 10 years ago | (#10168981)

Well, they [] had it first.

Nyet (1)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#10176858)

Igor Stravinsky beat [] Pontiac by a few decades for putting the name on a product.

First post? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10168191)


fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10168198)


20 years? (2, Interesting)

some guy I know (229718) | more than 10 years ago | (#10168492)

How odd.
The homepage says that it has been in use since 1981.
That's more than 20 years.

Re:20 years? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10175244)

The year 1981 is correct, as it reffers to multigenerational engine that Jim wrote at DEC. It's twenty years since it's "independent" as InterBase. But even InterBase carry some artifacts from previous one (some API for example).

PhoenixFoxBird! (4, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#10168814)

September 4th is the 20th anniversary of what is now Firebird./i.

It's a great browser, but I think this is a bit premature.

Wow! (0, Redundant)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 10 years ago | (#10168907)

20 years? I didn't know that moz-- oh, wrong one.

Sorry, guys.

Xenix or Venix? (2, Interesting)

Liquor (189040) | more than 10 years ago | (#10169589)

I worked with PDP-11's for years, and never encountered Xenix running on any of them. As far as I recall, Xenix was solely for X86 machines (and would run on a '286 - the only X86 unix before the 386 came out).

Are you sure that wasn't Venix? I seem to recall a company called Venturecomm or something like that produced a stripped down version of BSD 'nix for the PDP-11 at relatively low cost.

Re:Xenix or Venix? (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 10 years ago | (#10169646)

I was looking for Xenix on eBay a while ago and found a Xenix for the PDP-11. Also came across it reading the history of Unix.

I think this was before Xenix belonged to Microsoft or something like that, I believe MS bought it from SCO.

Still looking for a x86 Xenix at low cost...

Re:Xenix or Venix? (3, Informative)

Liquor (189040) | more than 10 years ago | (#10169863)

If I recall correctly, Xenix was indeed produced by Microsoft at the time (the Santa Cruz Organization was to be a 'second source').

But the article mentioned a dislike of Xenix, which I recall as being a fairly well polished product compared to Venix, which had poor manuals (although it did have some real-time extensions), and may have been missing a number of utilities.

The main reason I recall for using Venix over Xenix on the LSI-11/23 type machines was that Xenix was priced to run on the full-blown systems like an 11/44 (competing with RSTS11 or MUMPS at about $5K a copy) while Venix was something like $500.

Then again, I seem to recall that Xenix on the X86 could be bought without any compilers as an almost useless 'run-time' package - I would imagine that using thie would be somewhat annoying.

Re:Xenix or Venix? (2, Interesting)

Phaid (938) | more than 10 years ago | (#10170599)

Venturcom Venix was a System V derivative for x86 PC's. It's basically an early revision of SCO Unix with realtime extensions.

There were plenty of regular AT&T Unix versions that ran on PDP-11s though.

Re:Xenix or Venix? (2, Interesting)

Phaid (938) | more than 10 years ago | (#10170624)

Heh but I spoke too soon. There was also a Venturcom Venix that ran on PDP's [] .

I used the x86 version in the mid 90's, and had never heard of the PDP one.

Re:Xenix or Venix? (1)

sglines (543315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10202067)

No, Xenix also ran on a PDP-11 and was, in fact, the reference implementation at Microsoft. Yes, dear folks, Microsoft owned Xenix. SCO just sold it.

Re:Xenix or Venix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10208199)

I had a 7-user Xenix development machine many years ago that ran UNIX System III on Xenix hardware, complete with an 8MHz 8086 and 1MB RAM.

Uh? (2, Funny)

eingram (633624) | more than 10 years ago | (#10186127)

I shouldn't even bother clicking the Developers link anymore. Besides not being a developer, usually the stories that don't make the front page have more acronyms in them than an AIM conversation between two adolescent teens.

I do like to try and stay informed, and I'm sure the story is fascinating, but I just don't get it. :)

The reason why this wasn't on the front page... (3, Funny)

ninejaguar (517729) | more than 10 years ago | (#10190200)

The submitter offered the wrong quote...they should've put this one in instead:

"My second real job was with DEC. DEC was a great place to work. Near total anarchy. I put out a very successful product called Datatrieve, which, due to a stupid political ploy by a manager, got cancelled. It didn't mean a thing. I got to write a monthly report saying "Problems: The project has been cancelled. If this isn't rectified, it could affect the schedule." It really didn't make any difference. The second version shipped on schedule, still cancelled. You've got to admire a company that succeeds despite the best efforts of its management."


= 9J =

Dang! I must have pulled a Rip Van Winkle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10221664)

... because I could have sworn it seemed like just yesterday when it was renamed to FireFox. I mean, I heard how time flies when you're busy at work, but man...
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