Subject Re: [IBDI] Re: About IBDI
Author Ann W. Harrison
Hello all,

I've been keeping out of this discussion (well, for me, one
message a day is keeping out) because it's a healthy (if
vigorous) debate and I desperately don't care about logo's,
names, and web sites, unless I have to wear them, speak them,
or maintain them.

>However, for the above structure, one question is the position of
>IBPhoenix. Much depends on what they want to be their business. If
>it's just Support/Consulting, the above looks fine. However, from
>Helen's message I got the impression there's more to IBPhoenix.
>Therefore, in my opinion, the core question really is, whether
>Firebird shall be independent and hence non-profit, or whether Ann &
>Co. rather want Firebird as the development department of IBPhoenix.

The original model (pre July 2000) had ISC (one of the old names of
IBPhoenix) would employ a half-dozen developers. They, and some other
old hands, would be the inner group with check-in and would admit
others as they proved their knowledge and ability. Post July 2000,
that model had some flaws. For one, the developers still work for
Borland. For another, ISC->IBPhoenix was broke. More than broke,
and we had support obligations going forward. Most important, a
number of exceedingly good people emerged from the community and
started Firebird.

So now, it's a new model - quite exciting - something of a meritocracy
where merit accrues to activity and knowledge.

>If Firebird shall not sell CDs, in order to leave that activity to
>IBPhoenix, I think terms should be found on how part of that income
>is to flow back to the Firebird project.

Absolutely. Wouldn't have it any other way. What I plan to do
(subject to being declared barking mad by my partners) is to include
a Firebird stipend in the price of every CD. Listed on the page,
like shipping and sales tax. The question, is where should that
money go? To developers I happen to like? To some organization
unnamed? To Markus's new Mercedes?

>But in general, since the software is also made available for free
>download, the purchase of a CD is much like sponsoring. People buy
>them because they contribute to the OSS project.

Not true, in my experience. I've bought several Red Hat distributions,
not because I want to sponsor Red Hat or because I think Red Hat is
a charity designed to funnel money into Linux development.

>Firebird would be able to sell more CDs than IBPhoenix can,
>both because of its name which corresponds to the product (so buyer
>knows money goes to the maker of Firebird)

Red Hat seems just as good at selling Linux as VALinux.

>Conclusion: If IBPhoenix wants to sell the CDs and hence build their
>business on everything related to Firebird, they should, in my
>opinion, also adopt the name (Firebird Inc.)

Wouldn't I jump at that opportunity! IBPhoenix is a fine name,
but tied to the past (IB), and awkward to say. As I wrote elsewhere,
I answer the phone "Ann Harrison." I tried answering "IBPhoenix"
for a day or two. My office-mate echoed "I be Albuquerque", causing
me to dissolve in giggles and ruining whatever impression of
professionalism I might have created.

>and take control of the
>source code repository. I think there is much sympathie for Ann among
>the currently active contributors and such a step would probably be
>possible (to be discussed with those who have contributed so far).

I have no right to control the efforts of those who volunteer their
time, and no way to pay for the kind of services that are currently
being donated.


We have answers. And even a few scruples.