Subject Re: Design of new built-in functions
Author Roman Rokytskyy
> > 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.
> Really, I hadn't noticed anybody throwing huge bags of money at
> Postgres recently. Perhaps I missed something. The reference to
> MySQL is not appropriate considering the licensing issues and the
> timing of when MySQL becam open source.

I guess Jim is referencing to the EnterpriseDB company, but their
difference to us is the license the PGSQL uses - EnterpriseDB, AFAIK,
does not have to publish their enhancements. This ensures that
advanced features are available only for a fee.

But I agree with you that in general Jim misses the point. The money
are thrown into entities that can produce more money. So, in our case
that can be IBPhoenix, Janus Software or, but not the
Firebird Project or Firebird Foundation which do not produce anything
except freely available software (no licensing, no support, etc.).

Jim has probably forgotten that we are the fork and not the original
copyright holder. We cannot change the license for the code, we cannot
re-license it for commercial use, we cannot make some advanced
features available for the fee, in other words - we are very limited
in possibilities to earn something. We cannot produce money, we can
only ensure that others can produce money with our software. And those
others might get money from VCs, but not the project. And those others
should then contribute money to the FF so that we can proceed further.
In this way they secure their business.

We are the community project, run by a community and for the
community. As long as community lives, project will live, community
dies - project dies too. That is our strength and our weakness.

But this never fitted Jim's understanding of software development
business, where he can only earn money by selling the technology he
invents. We do not envent technology for sell, we simply do all
necessary things to ensure that businesses around the project live and

Anyway, these issues have been discussed in Firebird-General list for
a quite long time and they do not belong to the Firebird-Architect list.