Subject Re: [IBDI] Re: Firebird HowTo
Author Mark O'Donohue
markus.soell@... wrote:

> --- In IBDI@y..., Mark O'Donohue <mark.odonohue@l...> wrote:
>> Hi Markus
>> Verry impressive and well thought out article.
> Exactly. However, for the sake of clear terminology, I wouldn't say
> Firebird involves people in the IBDI and InterBase communities.
> An OSS community, as I understand it, is identified by a common
> source code repository. If somebody forks the code that's also a
> split in the community. Therefore we have formally two communities,
> Firebird and Interbase (in reality the latter doesn't seem to exist).
> IBDI isn't a community, it's an organization.

Ok, but what I was getting at was that people can be members of many
organisations, and I think many Firebird supporters and indeed probably
most Firebird developers also work with the commercial InterBase
product. So in that way the community boundaries are fuzzy rather than
mutually exclusive.

Some people in OSS also deliberately place themselves in the middle
committing to a number of competing trees, I understand this happens a
fair bit in the various opensource BSD projects.

> I think a contributor doesn't work at the same time with Borland and
> Firebird. Either he submits his code to Borland or to the Firebird
> tree. The one who writes documentation will entitle it either
> Firebird... Manual or InterBase... Manual and, by that choice of
> title, express his sens of belonging to one community rather than to
> the other.

I agree with you here.

> It's therefore a flaw in your terminology if you say that
> Firebird involves people from InterBase.

It's more that Firebird also involves people who also use and program
with InterBase, put probably don't contribute source code mod's to

> Oh, I know what you mean. For example the one who makes an ODBC
> driver that can be used for both InterBase and Firebird. Does he
> belong to the Firebird community even if he calls his driver
> InterBase something? Strictly speaking no. Choosing to call his piece
> of software InterBase, he belongs to Borland, the oposite camp.

Ah well, his boss or his checkbook or markettingmanager may say one
thing, but his heart may say another :-). Over time perhaps that will
change, :-) these are early days, and we are still working towards a
1.0 release. He may also call his driver something neutral, and
announce that it supports both.

>> I suppose I see Firebird as fairly close and a strong overlapping
>> with the IBDI community. Most of us in Firebird also work/have
>> worked/continue to work with InterBase and although I see the
>> products as different I don't necessarily see the membership of
>> the communities as being so. The IBDI also shares the fact that
>> it is a "not for profit" organisation.
> See above.

See above answer :-), I believe (hopefully correctly) that a lot of
IBDI community (or in general people that use or develop software for
InterBase) support Firebird. I think for now and for the immediate
future they will continue to use InterBase because that's an lot easier
sell to your boss, but for that new project or where a low cost
widespread solution is required or as Firebird begins to be used ...
well they might just be able to convince the boss :-).

> You know, when you found the association, the articles can tell who

I agree the association sounds promising for us.

> Maybe I have a bit shot over the goal with my remarks concerning the
> documentation. Well, I don't even really know what documentation
> exists ;) But I still think that at least just the very basic
> documentation, especially user manual etc. must be provided on the
> Firebird site. A mere "Documentation" link on the Firebird site,

You are right, we need our own at least basic documentation.

But while waiting for it to arrive, since it relies on peoples
contributions (offers of help welcome ;-) , we'll take whatevers going,
and currently the ibphoenix doco site is collecting links, to various
documents, so in leu of our own this is better than nothing. Actually I
think we also point people to Borland docs as well somewhere there.

> which directly takes to IBPhoenix, isn't enough. That makes Firebird
> look incomplete IMHO. How about this: Basic documentation on the
> Firebird site and a link to IBPhoenix for further documentation?

Yep sounds good, when we get some basic documentation (did I say
contributions welcome ;-).

> Concerning financial interests of IBPhoenix in the Firebird project,
> there are of course different possibilities:
> First, Firebird doesn't necessarily need to be non-profit. If the
> developers agree, Ann could take control of the source tree and found
> a Firebird Inc. and run a business, just like MySql does. Firebird
> Inc. would hire people to work on the code and earn money from
> selling CDs and Support. Of course the current developers of the
> project would need to agree with this.
> Second possibility: The association, once created, and if she has an
> income (sponsoring, selling CDs,...) could pay some staff (e.g.
> persons from IBPhoenix) for their work on the code. This staff
> wouldn't get paied in its quality of association members (because the
> association is non-profit), they'd rather have the status of
> contractors or employees of the association. If things work a little
> well, the association could maybe have a couple of full time
> employees. At that moment there would be no IBPhoenix anymore and Ann
> could make a living from being the president of the association and
> coordination of Firebird development, for example.
> Third possibility and the way I've so far seen IBPhoenix so far: An
> independent consulting venture. At that moment what Firebird can give
> is the "Support" section of the website. At the moment IBPhoenix
> doesn't have any competition here, they can use the entire section of
> the site to offer their services. But again: There must be a support
> section on the site, not simply a link to IBPhoenix. It's ok if that
> support section consists of 1 page with information, from where they
> can link to IBPhoenix.
> However, revenue from CD sales and thelike should in this case go to
> the Association and not to IBPhoenix. Because that's the motivation
> for people to buy the CDs: The not for profit nature of the
> organization.

I agree with the options you put here as possibilities, I would say
though that if not being run by a non profit association. I think there
would have to be some simple negotiated way in which the commercial
venture interacted with it's opensource contributors.

> In my opinion the Firebird website is too important to just "wait and
> see what happens". It must be up and running before Firebird 1.0 is
> released.

From my perspective its a wait and see, from Pavel's perspective its
probably a bit more an active concern. He has done a great job (see in my opinion for what a poor job looks like - even though I
like the GPL licence).

A new one really depends upon how much spare time Pavel has, and/or if
anyone else is willing to help him. I think he'll take your comments
on board, and do something about them, but it does take time, and since
we pay so well, Im personally currently happy we have a web site at all
and think it's only in as good a state today because of Pavels efforts.

But in thinking about the future, (but lets not pressure Pavel too much
from he needs to do for a living and family life) I was wondering if
perhaps interbase2000, a (the?) ibdi site was a better place for the
PhNuke news and feedback stuff longer term. I like the feedback
mechanism, and perhaps that fits more with ibdi's brief. But I would
leave it to Pavel to do the what/ how and when (and even the if), since
he's better at this than I am, and I've got my own tasks to worry about.

Again thank for the contribution, I only wish I had more time to
discuss it,

Now what was I doing, ahhh testing, at this rate it'll never get done :-).



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