Subject Re: [IB-Architect] Open Letter
Author Rob Schuff

----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Starkey <jas@...>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2000 9:09 AM
Subject: [IB-Architect] Open Letter

> For those you who don't know me, I was the original founder of
> InterBase. I started the company, designed and wrote the first
> version of the product, and presided over company's first seven
> years. In 1984, the founders and employees of InterBase sold
> the company to Ashton-Tate, comfortable with their assurances
> that InterBase would continue with a tradition of technical
> excellence, strong customer support, and a loyalty to its
> customer base. I am also the husband of Ann Harrison, president
> of the fledging company attempting the rebirth of InterBase.
> Over the years Ann and I stayed involved with InterBase, first
> informally with our friends and colleagues in the InterBase
> community, and latter on the various InterBase lists. About
> a year and a half ago, I came to the reluctant conclusion that
> because of the gross incompetence of Borland management, I
> could not in good conscience encourage people to continue
> with the product. Ann disagreed and stayed on the list.
> Last December, Borland shut down InterBase. Word leaked out,
> and the ensuing outrage forced Borland to reconsider the
> decision. A number of trial balloons were released using
> both my and Ann's names without consultation or permission.
> Borland then announced their plans to open-source the product.
> Ann agreed to lead the new company, putting together a strong
> management team, stabilizing the remnants of Borland's InterBase
> group, and convincing you, the customers, that InterBase would
> live and thrive.
> That was February. Today is July 14. The deal hasn't closed,
> version 6 has not been released, and the source code has not
> been opened. Deal after deal has been lost. Potential investors
> have been turned away. Important customers have drifted away as
> Borland's lawyers missed deadline after deadline.
> Monday, July 17, Cobalt Networks has scheduled a major announcement,
> which was to include InterBase version 6. But InterBase, still
> the property of Borland, has not been released. Dale Fuller,
> president of Inprise/Borland, promised to release InterBase to
> Cobalt. Dale then turned the issued over to his lawyers, who
> have refused permission to release the product.
> Unless Borland agrees to release version 6 binaries to Cobalt
> today, July 14, the Cobalt deal is probably dead. If the Cobalt
> deal dies, the Borland/InterBase deal may die with it. In any
> case, if the Borland/InterBase deal does not close by July 24,
> the deal will be dead. The future of the product will be Dale
> Fuller, not Ann, Paul, and Matt. I will not be involved in
> any capacity.
> If you value your investment in InterBase, if you wish continued
> InterBase support, if want development of InterBase to continue,
> I urge you to communicate your feelings to Dale Fuller, Inprise
> CEO, today. Try phone, e-mail, whatever. If you can't reach
> Dale, explain it to whomever you can find within Borland. Explain
> that Cobalt is essential to InterBase, that Cobalt has been
> promised product any number of times. Explain that Dale Fuller
> promised to release the code. Explain that Dale Fuller, once
> again, is hiding behind his lawyers. Explain what InterBase
> means to you. And explain exactly what happens to your business
> if InterBase dies for the want of a signed release.
> Jim Starkey
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