Subject MySQL vs Firebird - the slow decay
Author Andrew
[Helen, I think this is apropos here, but I understand if you think
otherwise and do what you gotta do.]

Is it just me or do others get the feeling that Firebird is the BETA
in the old VHS vs BETA war?

MySQL just got authentic transaction support.

God forbid they get before/after triggers. Part of me wants to hang
on to at least one reason why I should stay with my cherished

I like MySQL. I love Firebird. I resent that more and more I am
having to justify to myself why I am using Firebird more than I use
MySQL. I resent that more and more I am gravitating towards MySQL
because it is not giving me reasons to stay with Firebird.

There are two major problems with Firebird. Before I go into that,
remember, this is not finger pointing or criticism. This is
impartial, undeniable fact. Yes, it can be fixed by this or that,
e.g. I get off my behind and dig into the source (if I learn C++
first), etc. But let's ignore the possible remedies and address the
facts as they stand right now:

1. Firebird lacks developers and consequently is progressing very
slowly. Why the lack of developers? Is there even a need for faster

2. Firebird no longer has a lot of the unique features that once
distinguished it from the pack (e.g. multi-generational). Why is a
Firebird feature better than the same feature implemented on another
DB platform?

3. Firebird does not have the profile ('buzz', 'hype', whatever) that
it needs to become a widely used (i.e. widely known) RDBMS. Is there
a need for a higher profile? What would result from a higher profile?

Items 1 and 3 could change. Firebird V2 could trigger that. It
would be terrific to see it happen. Do I believe it will happen?
No. If I had to map out a timeline from this point on, it would show
Firebird users dropping off until it became one of those fond
memories and slight regrets about "if only...".

Am I griping? You better believe it. I don't want MySQL to outshine
Firebird! When I found Firebird, It gave me one of those huge jolts
of enthusiasm and excitement that comes only a couple of times a year
(if you are lucky). Over the past year, that excitement has faded,
along with my hopes for what Firebird would become. In my own blunt
way I tried to find others who retained some form of passion, others
who would want to get some kind of strategy together to promote
Firebird as the smart alternative to MySQL or (cough) Postgre or...
well, there are no other serious contenders. My IBDI posts and ideas
met with silence.

It seems nobody is interested in getting Firebird hyped. Can you
imagine the Firebird team making a news release like that MySQL link
at the top? Of course not. What news outlet cares about Firebird?
But MySQL... now that's a story with buzz. And that's exactly what
crushes my hope for Firebird's future.

MySQL is what Firebird could have been -- could still be? -- a hugely
successful opensource juggernaut. But there I go again, getting
crazy ideas about Firebird becoming a player instead of a 'best kept

And if you're wondering, yes, I'm still bitter about having my
Firebird project canned in favour of MS SQL Server. I like to think
of my grudges as my special children, and nuture them accordingly.

Andrew Ferguson