Subject Re: [IBDI] Dear Helen...
Author Fabricio Araujo
On Wed, 25 Apr 2001 16:51:29 -0000, markus.soell@... wrote:

(This message my viewpoint of the things I read and observed about Interbase.
I not guarantee 100% accuracy the timeline localization of the facts - maybe one
or two is happened in a month and I mention it in the next... But the basic things
is there):

Ok Markus, I read you how-to. Just a synthesis of the facts:

December 99: Bill Karwin, former product manager of IB on Borprise (Helen, correct me
if I made a mistake here) and flames and hoaxes and all type of speculation about the
death of Interbase Relational Database Server came and flow like lava rivers. This epoch
is related, by the ones that were on NGs and message lists on that moment, as being
the "Black December". Pressure at Borland CEO gets to the sky.

Jan 2000: Borland ( called Inprise on that moment) announce the open of source code
of Interbase RDBMS and Ann Harrison(original co-author of the software) initiates nego-
tiations related to the expurge of Interbase line of products from Borland to a new compa-
ny, commanded by her and Paul Reeves (initially)

Feb 2K to June 2K: only BS from Borland. AnnH is employed on Borland to command ne-
gotiations. These months are the most important ones: IBDI born to be THE Interbase
community, aggregating all (as far as possible) IB developers around the globe. Jason
Wharton and Helen Borrie initiate the IBDI campaign on NGs and mailing lists, trying to
gather interest in the IB open-source project. A large and well documented site (
is created as the headquarters of IBDI on web.
Jim Starkey (original author and coordinator of the software) initiates his efforts on creating
a ODBC driver (free of the bugs and glitches of Visigenic and Intersolv ones) with the plus
of their design being intended to create a framework to create a new IB API, less difficult
and error-prone to program.
IBDI born with the intention to gather people interest and enthusiasm on Open-Source Interbase.
* Jason Wharton: creator of a component set for Delphi and C++ Builder for native connec-
tion Interbase using all its capabilities
* Helen Borrie: well known IB user and collaborator in all suport lists (in that moment, the one
that exist - the main one - was the one hosted on

July 2K:
* Ann Harrison and Borland cannot get a accordance(is this word exist? I forgot the right one)
and AnnH get out of Borland.
* Borland decides to drive itself the open-sourcing of the Interbase. Borland retains, to the fury
of community, the following things:
- Test suite, which without is nearly impossible (at July 2K) to certify that a patch does not
screw up the server. Allow also the certification against errors.
- The name Interbase
- Important documentation about architecture.
* Jim Starkey stopped his efforts (as he were been paid for them) because of AnnH (his wife)
not getting a agreement and, because of this, not having the money to Jim terminate the
driver. (Other considerations are outside of the scope of this message - if not, it will became
a history book).
* IBDI gets shocked. And start to develop a new business model which allows Ann, Jim and
Paul Reeves to give the needed critical support that Interbase deserves.
* Borland reveal the source, but AnnH and Jim ( as well as some other key people) are not
allowed to contribute with the source tree.
* Borland tree is almost unbuildable outside their labs.

August 2k - December 2K
* IBDI creates the Firebirds and Firebird Ashed areas on SourceForge (after a
at NGs and mails where it will be put). Firebird Ashes (the originally intended location)
were abandoned after). Firebird became the project name also, due to Borland turtle-
slow on make decisions, became THE database of the open-source community.
* IbPhoenix rise up as the cristalization of the business model intended to all Interbase
line of server products, on all platforms. It's a company dedicated to SUPPORT IB
(or FB, does not matter here), with the paid support services available to the application
developers around the world.
* IBDI does not negate its' origin and gather a enthusiastic group to make the Firebird
fly. Mark O'Donnahue was the first to offer his efforts - in this moment, to clean-up and
create a source-base buildable outside Borland labs. Others engaged to the projects.

Middle December 2K - Jan 2001
- CERN alert about the "politically correct" backdoor. Firebird gets ahead and patch
the source much before Borland. Fights about the merit of "who make the s* and
why" fly around.

- The rest you know...

Because of this BRIEF list of facts, the actual status were achieved.
IBDI is dedicated to gather people interest on IB. Firebird born in the need to
make anxious developers to start working on code as early as possible.
It is made of people worried about IB future, actually (to me) Interbase means

IBPhoenix is the support company where the guys who need paid support to
solve critical problems on production (or in-development) systems get.

Firebird is the product now. And the project on SourceForge.

All that is people is IB community. IBDI is only the entity that agglutinate
the developers. Maybe, one day, exists only FIrebird organization and
FBDI - which are the people that are interested or worried on Firebird.

Actually, IBDI reaches the two: Interbase developers and Firebird developers.
IBDI is the voice of the developers around the world, changing the way of the
Firebird/Interbase even not needing to get at the code to reach such a thing.
(A little bit of poetry... ;-)))) )

I hope that I have been clear...

[]s Fabricio
Systems Developer