Subject Re: [Firebird-Architect] Re: Design of new built-in functions
Author Jim Starkey
Paul Beach wrote:

>>The Firebird project has many, many institutional problems (the
>>brain-numbing idea of not putting documentation on line is probably the
>>worst, but there are others almost as bad).
>What documentation?
For starters, Helen's book could be put on line. It wasn't designed for
that, but a) it's adequate, and b) it's all you're got. We'll skip the
technical issues as "don't wanna". That leaves business issues. The
business issues should be simpler than the technical issues. It is
fairly well established that the on-line availability of large, useful,
reasonably comprehensive book leads directly to sales of the more
convenient print version. Consider such diverse projects as CVS and
Microsoft's COM. Both are available on-line or bundled with tools and
both do just fine as print versions. When the on-line availability is
necessary for the intended audience to grow, as would Helen's book, and
the increased audience would automatically lead to greater print sales,
putting the documentation on-line should be a no-brainer.

This is the golden age of open source databases. Companies and
investors are are throwing sacks of gold at everyone in site but
Firebird. In the time that Firebird has put out three releases
(counting 1.5 as a release), MySQL has gone from a handful of people to
a profitable company over over 300 people with tens of millions of
dollars in the bank, millions of customers, and alliances with dozens of
major products and companies. And given that MySQL started with a
non-transactional ISAM where Firebird started with a full bore, SQL
compliant, robust, transactional engine, the difference is more
striking. The Postgres open source project started with an
unsuccessful, cast-off academic research project with huge technical
problems. It still has huge technical problems, but their most serious
problem is to avoid being knocked on the head by the bags of money that
companies throw at them.

Firebird's biggest problem is lack of management of organization. It
needs an organization to recognize needs and respond. The Firebird
Foundation owns the trademark and ostensibly runs the project. Yet
about the sole significant action of the Firebird Foundation in the last
couple of years was to expel me for anticipated future inactivity. If
the Firebird Foundation spent 1% of the effort they spend on personal
vendettas on intelligent response to opportunities, Firebird might go


Jim Starkey
Netfrastructure, Inc.
978 526-1376