|Off-Topic: Firebird future
I've been using FB since version 1 and I have only good comments about the database quality and performance. However, It's true that the development has evolved too slow and we had to wait almost 10 years since the first release to get a real SMP support (I know that's tricky since for Linux and classic was not a problem) and we were far behind the competitors MySQL and PgSQL.
In the meantime the great team was improving the database, MySQL and PgSQL have won a lot of user base because they evolved faster adding new features like XML support, JSON, NoSQL engines, etc. into their database core. Some of those features look far away from the Firebird next versions.
Also, today I was looking for a Flamerobin updated version but the project seens abandoned. I mean, flamerobin is a really cool tool but nobody is helping its developers to keep it updated. Some of you can blame that everyone should be able to create code for the project, but that's not true, a project needs engagement to develop, knowledge of the language, etc. So it's not easy to add developers (and more difficult if they don't see cool features out of the box). Basically, if you want a management tool updated you need to go to commercial.
So, my point is, the current Firebird develepment model is not delivering features as the market requires, there is not a gui management tool once you install the software, all the cool features are commercial. If you install MySQL, after the installation you will get a DBMS with GUI for management, encryption, replication out of the box since many years ago, all drivers for developers if desired, extensive support from Cloud providers, and a lot of features that make it a very functional tool out of the box. Also PgSQL offers many of these features out of the box for free.
I know the Firebird model offers to many Companies to sell those missing tools, but to be honest, if your competitors offer the same for free you will go for them. In my last project I used MySQL because it has wide support in the cloud providers, offering Database as a Service, replication, encryption, an integrated GUI out of the box and other features. In the next project I will be using PgSQL for similar reasons. I'm asking myself how much time I'll still be using Firebird if the project evolves slow, there is not GUI officially maintened and the cool features are for the commercial companies.
I don't want to start a flame, those are only my personal thoughs regarding the Firebird future. If nothing changes, we could see some users and developers moving to other DBMS for sure... and we have not talked about NoSQL competitors yet...
You are the genius, I hope you will figure out how to keep this great project alive.