Mozilla criticized for name conflict after announcement
April 16, 2003 3:06 PM   Subscribe

The name "Firebird" was chosen by Mozilla to rename their Phoenix product. However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project -- and the Mozilla organization was clearly aware of this naming conflict before making their decision. Some feel that such an action, within the context of the open-source community, is unfair and constitutes bad etiquette, at the least. The discussion is ongoing, but LinuxWorld reports that the Mozilla organization has deleted recent message-board comments that criticized their decision.
posted by TreeHugger (18 comments total)
i coulda sworn i typed, not
posted by xmutex at 3:08 PM on April 16, 2003

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things!
posted by hammurderer at 3:10 PM on April 16, 2003

I always called Natalie Portman with grits my little Firebird, I should sue.
posted by xmutex at 3:12 PM on April 16, 2003

Firebird is clearly taken. But if the Moz folks want to maintain the Stravinsky connection, The Fairy's Kiss is still available.
posted by jfuller at 3:16 PM on April 16, 2003

I grew up knowing Firebird as a type of car. My father owned one. Black, T-top, big gold bird on the hood of his Trans-Am. Yep, it was the late 70s, and my father idolized Mr. Reynolds.

I'm fully aware of my trash origins, thankyouverymuch.
posted by thanotopsis at 3:22 PM on April 16, 2003

I can't believe people took my joke logo seriously at mozillazine.
posted by mathowie at 3:23 PM on April 16, 2003

Are Camaro or Trans Am still available?
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:33 PM on April 16, 2003

Rats. Maverick and Pacer seem taken too.
posted by cairnish at 3:40 PM on April 16, 2003

Lets just give in and call all computer stuff 'ipaq'. Unless its purpley, in which case we can call it 'vaio'.
posted by duckstab at 4:00 PM on April 16, 2003

It should probably be pointed out that, whose forums and discussion you linked to, has no official ties with, and the accusation of moderated (Don't know how you read that as 'deleted') postings aren't against the forum, but the Mozilla Newsgroups(netscape.mozilla.public.*), some of which have always been moderated AFAIK.
posted by djc at 4:11 PM on April 16, 2003

Last time I checked, the Mac gecko browser Chimera was being renamed to Camino.. so tehy're really going overboard with the car thing...

posted by Space Coyote at 4:15 PM on April 16, 2003

Eh. A phoenix is a firebird, so to speak. That is, it's a bird that catches on fire, gets consumed in the flames and then rises from its ashes. The name works. Now, Microsoft on the other hand -- well, I just can't believe someone would call their company Small and Soft. Reminds me of another thread.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:21 PM on April 16, 2003

djc: My mistake... change "message-board comments" to "newsgroup postings". Thanks for the correction.
posted by TreeHugger at 4:24 PM on April 16, 2003

Those mozilla people have been full of sour grapes ever since Apple picked KHTML over Gecko. :)
posted by Space Coyote at 4:42 PM on April 16, 2003

I've been griping about the lack of a decent ntlm support in Mozilla (I believe they got it fixed a week ago...after 3 years i bugzilla) and I get sickened when they spend more time naming something than fixing bugs. The Phoenix db people have that name. They're known as that name, and it dilutes their brand to have someone else use that name for something computer related.

The point I brought up, was that the Mozilla folks wouldn't like it if someone made a Mozilla email client (or text editor or a limewire client) that wasn't from the mozilla code and wasn't even a browser. It would cause confusion, but it's exactly what's going on.
posted by mkelley at 6:04 PM on April 16, 2003

mathowie, that's really funny :)

i'm a big Phoenix/Pontiac Firebird/Whatever fan, have been since the project started.

Phoenix is what got me away from IE as my main browser. Mozilla had rendering issues last time I tried it.. not due to DOM compliance - but due to the state of HTML/CSS & JavaScript on the web today, and lax standard control. It still does on a few sites. But Mozilla is/was the EMACS of browsers. Phoenix took the nice, sweet rendering engine and put a lean, tightly written interface around it. I fell in love again... it was like the first time I installed Mosaic and watched the throbber for five minutes as my 9600 baud chugged down basic HTML with OMG! inline images!..

But what's up with this? Camino? Firebird? Thunderbird? All these Moz projects having classic american car names.

unoriginal bastards :)
posted by shadow45 at 9:24 PM on April 16, 2003

File this under "coming up for air," but I find it tragic that geek consortia have the gall to fight over who gets to use one of the most charged symbols in native american culture as the name of their software product.

Granted, you can add up every quality attributed to the Firebird by native american mythology and lore, and it would be something like "one badass mofo," and this is an appealing name for any company's product, but is every name from Tolkein taken or what?
posted by scarabic at 10:16 PM on April 16, 2003

However, Firebird is also the name of a popular and long-standing open-source database project

Never heard of it. I thought that honour went to Postgres or MySQL.
posted by ralawrence at 2:24 AM on April 17, 2003

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