“..is every name from Tolkein taken or what?”

April 22, 2003

I’ve watched this from a distance, commented on various sites (1 ,2 ), and finally decided to talk about it here. This whole Mozilla and Firebird debacle is just another excuse for me to ditch Mozilla . Obviously all of their rhetoric about Open Source was just a bunch of *^%$. And when people talk about it on the Moz forums, it’s a good insight into a mind of complete and total geeks.

My take on this is: Mozilla’ s legal arm, AOL, would strike anyone down who tried to use the Mozilla name for anything. I’ve been using the example of an e-Mail client, but it could be a blog editor. Mozilla had it first, but my love of Godzilla movies along with the first initial of my name, the last initial of my grandmother’s maiden name, were the best solution for a name….oh, my software has bugs too, but we have to name this damn thing.

If it’s a rename for Phoenix, then call it, Mozilla Slim. Call it anything, but don’t call it the same name as another software product. It’s Marketing 101 people. Eventually it will dilute your brand (name)…causing confusion. This time hurting another Open Source group…..in your community.

Mozilla hasn’t been handled right, since April 1, 1999 . My favorite Mozilla headache was that it took over three years to get NTLM into a Mozilla Alpha. Try finding Mozilla behind a corporate firewall….it’s rare and mainly because it wouldn’t work due to the lack of NTLM. If you need a Mozilla browser, use K-Meleon . They use the Mozilla code, but without all of that XUL crap that’s in Phoenix. It’s lighter than Phoenix or Camino, but it’s Windows only.

Of course, please don’t take this to mean I don’t want AOL to release a Mozilla browser to all of their subscribers. Microsoft needs someone to scare them again, Safari and Mozilla can do that. An AOL Mozilla-based Client would receive praise from most designers in the world. I would bet that IE’s marketshare would drop by a third. But I digress…

I don’t want Mozilla to change Phoenix to Firebird, they’ve done some dumb things in the past. But please don’t let this tarnish the Mozilla name further….It doesn’t have to have a cool name. Call it “Browser” and “Mail”. Call it “Jake” and “Elwood”. But don’t be a bully and take a name.

*see the MeFi link for the title’s info.