Subject Names of our lists/newsgroups
Author Helen Borrie
At 07:20 PM 29-12-01 +0000, Artur Anjos wrote:

>The only thing I suggested until now, and for me IT SHOULD BE A PRIORITY,
>it's changing the name of this newsgroup (as well the others related) to fb-
>instead of ib- just to help give FB the image it needs to have to achieve
>more popularity. I have post this sugestion to this newsgroup a few weeks
>ago, and no one reply to that post!
>What we have here is a community of people using FB, and sometimes helping
>people that uses IB. The name of this newsgroup show us the oposite.

Artur and others,
The issue of the lists and newsgroup names does surface from time to time - you and Sean Leyne both seem to think it's important so, as moderator of the groups, I'm comfortable with raising a discussion about it. But in this list it is off-topic...

Rather than clog up this support list with the off-topic discussion, I'd like to invite those who want to air this to post to the IBDI list, which is our general, non-support discussion list. If you want to participate and don't belong to that list already, here's a subscribe-link:

The "ib-" prefix on our lists predates Borland's decision to fork off a commercial InterBase 6. It sprang from the IBDI, a huge movement of folk who didn't want InterBase to be canned. (At the time, it *was* canned). At that time it was unthinkable that "our database" would end up needing a name that didn't have "ib" around it.

Well, July 2000 changed that. Other things changed too, as time went by, amongst them the freedom of the old InterBase hands to post support responses to the (now defunct) list hosted by Robert Schieck on Several of us moved our efforts to ib-support. Recently, when the Mers list was suddenly killed without notice, there was a mass migration of people who needed more than the borland.public.interbase newsgroups had to offer.

It's probable that the majority of folk who use the ib-support list for help are Firebird users. But it's also true that we have a number InterBase(R) users needing and using the list, including a fairly steady stream of new subscribers.

Yes, I watch the subscription notices and the postings that follow, and I can tell that we are far from being exclusively a "Firebird list". People who buy Borland products get "free" developer licences for InterBase(R) in their software packages; and there are still folk who download those buggy old binaries from the Borland site.

Back in 2000, the IBDI was about the survival of the database. That was achieved. Firebird was a vital but unplanned outcome of all that energy. Firebird has transpired as the *only* way for developers to have an open source path along which to develop and grow with an InterBase-derived database. But IBDI was and is *still* about the database and it is non-partisan.

At times Sean Leyne has proposed starting up a "Firebird support" list on Sourceforge. I've opposed that because I see more disadvantage than benefit, viz.
-- it means that those of us who are able to help with questions have to split time and effort across multiple lists. The load is already heavy enough.
-- it places an undesirable "ring" around Firebird users that somehow excludes users of InterBase(R). Where can they go, other than the b.p.i. newsgroups?

Other proposals have come forward regarding the hosting of "fb-ib" lists and newsgroups, particularly as fallback if yahoogroups should collapse.

In principle I'm not opposed to changing the names of our lists, if we can find succinct names that properly reflect their non-partisan character. In practical terms, it's a nightmare. We can't *change" a list name on yahoogroups. We have to move the subscribers to a new list, a process that takes several days since subscribers have to be moved in blocks of 50 per 24-hour period. In the process, we lose our archives. (We do have a few months of archives on the atkin news server, so our worst loss would be the ib-architect history which goes right back to early in 2000).

Anyway, if any of you have any strong feelings about it, let's air it in IBDI.