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  InterBase Saga Continues
Posted by: Michael Bernstein on Wednesday August 16, @08:05PM

The nascent open-source database project that was coalescing around the Inprise/Borland InterBase product has run into some problems.

Recap:

Back in February, Inprise/Borland (hereafter referred to as Inprise) announced that the InterBase RDBMS was going to be released as open-source, and that its maintenance was going to be spun off into a separate corporation (the Interbase Software Corporation, or ISC). After some delays, Inprise finally released the source on july 25th.

So far, so good.

Three days later, on July 28th, Inprise announced that they were in fact keeping InterBase for themselves, basically hanging the developers working for ISC out to dry.

Specifically, Although Inprise has released the InterBase source code, Inprise is no longer investing in ISC or transfering the underlying copyrights and trademarks to ISC.

The reason given at the time and since has been that the proposed deal with ISC (which included ISC accepting a $6 million debt note, and Inprise buying a 19% stake in ISC for $2 million, as well as a number of other tangible and intangible assets) "when considered in its entirety, was not in the best interests of our shareholders". This in spite of the fact that Inprise's move to 'sunset' InterBase in December was the impetus for the formation of the original IBDI (or InterBase Developer Initiative) that later became the ISC. Most of the current 'value' in this product that Inprise was going to write off, is inherent in the community that has grown around it, especially now that the source has been released.

Inprise declined to elaborate on the details of the negotiations, citing an agreement with Ann Harrison not to do so (Ann Harrison was not available for comment due to currently being on a sailboat off the coast of Maine), but claimed that ISC had created conditions under which Inprise was not able to agree to proceed with the planned investment.

There has been some speculation that the deal fell through due to the downturn in technology stocks in general and Linux and other open source stocks in particular, so the short term prospect of Inprise recouping their investment wasn't too promising, or that the ongoing income from InterBase was too critical to Inprise meeting its quarterly financial statements, but none of these could be confirmed.

Inprise's announcement, made just before a weekend, had sent the InterBase mailing lists into a frenzy of speculation and acrimony aimed at Inprise. Most of this has now died down, as developers have started to redirect their efforts taking Inprise's actions into account.

While there was some concern at the time of the initial release that not all of the source code had been made available, Inprise has since added most, if not all, of the missing code modules. At this time, although the latest source code and CVS tree have been released, some key pieces are still being held by Inprise. These include:

  • release notes
  • build instructions and makefiles
  • build documentation including known bugs list.
  • the testing suite
  • the InterBase name
A key issue for the community is the ownership of the documentation. Inprise is the copyright holder to the original documentation, But ISC had commissioned an outside company to update the documentation in anticipation of being transferred the copyright. According to Paul Beach, who was appointed VP of sales and Marketing at ISC, the new documentation is not 'derivative' enough (over 30% different) to allow them to release the new version without violating Inprise's copyright.

Another issue is the 'test suite', a set of databases with which to do conformance, performance and stability testing of the database software. Strictly speaking, the test suite contains no source code, so an open content license would probably be most appropriate. ISC had intended to release the suite after they had the opportunity to modularize it and make the files more usable to the individual developer. Ted Shelton, Senior VP of Business Development at Inprise, has said that "The reason we have retained the testing suite is so that we can evaluate putting a licensing program in place so that ISC and other companies that want to build InterBase related businesses will have this revenue stream option. Releasing to open source is a one-way journey. We need to make sure that we aren't destroying a needed revenue source for ISC and other potential InterBase companies before we can make a decision about open sourcing the test suite."

This would probably mean that individual developers would have to either pay a company to QA their code, or else wait for someone else to discover any bugs in their modifications.

This also points out what some have seen as a difference in perspective; while communicating with people involved with the ISC, the sentiments most often expressed are a desire do what is necessary to help developers self organize to improve the code, while when communicating with Inprise, it seems as though anything smaller than another corporation doesn't even register, and developers are expected to help Inprise.

Helen Borrie, moderator for the InterBase mailing lists, said "Ted Shelton has not so far shown any willingness to discuss the coal-face requirements. I still hope that he can be persuaded to discuss it. It is my belief that he doesn't understand how/why individual developers and teams would need to use [the test suites]."

Ted Shelton commented on one of the InterBase mailing lists, "We are not shutting down InterBase. We continue to have a solid group of InterBase employees, we will continue to support our existing customers, and we will continue to participate in the InterBase community. We are working to develop a plan around supporting InterBase as an open source product. We will be inviting the community to make suggestions about how we can best accomplish this goal. While we were not able to come to an investment agreement with Ann Harrison and Paul Beach we appreciate the efforts they have made on behalf of the InterBase community and wish them the best in their endeavors."

This statement, while undoubtedly seen as conciliatory and reassuring by Inprise, provoked a very hostile response in the open-source InterBase community, including accusations that Inprise had set an unrealistically high price for the hand-over. A figure of $10 million was quoted by several people on the lists but this figure seems to have been an exaggerated mis-extrapolation of the $2 million/19.5% numbers.

Craig Leonardi posted a calmer than average response "Given your company's long tradition of neglecting Interbase, I am amazed at your press release. I can only imagine that all the Sr. VP's drew straws to see who would be the author .... While I do believe that you would welcome new companies to support Interbase, your assertions that Interbase will not be shutting down, that you are working on a plan, and that you appreciate the efforts of Mr. Beach and Ms. Harrison, fly in the face of reason and fact."

The list moderator, Helen Borrie, stated that "The community objected to Ted Shelton's approach - asking the community to help Inprise - when it had already spent six months putting its own infrastructure in place. The sincere Open Source approach should have been 'How can WE help YOU?'"

The 'solid group' that Ted Shelton refers to had 40 developers prior to December, which is when most of them left, leaving less than ten at Inprise. According to Paul Beach, a former General Manager of the InterBase Business Unit at Inprise, those who remained, did so because they thought that the spin-off would happen. Since the failure of the deal, three Inprise InterBase employees have resigned, and it's uncertain how many will remain with the company. Certainly two, since they rely on Inprise for their Green Cards.

As for participating in the community, Inprise is not seen as having any of the structures in place to adequately support the community's efforts, and few, if any, seem to be willing to give their assistance to Inprise. One indication of this are the two projects on SourceForge: The Inprise sponsored project has seven developers and administrators, most of whom seem to be Inprise employees (and one of whom is Mr. Shelton), while the 'Firebird' project, led by Mark O'Donohue, has twenty. Also, other projects are sprouting up around porting and tools efforts for various platforms.

Interestingly, the name change from 'InterBase' to 'Firebird', while suggestive of a fork, is actually due to Inprise's request that the InterBase trademark not be used, since trademarks must be defended or they are considered to be 'abandoned'. This has also prompted those involved in the ISC to start referring to themselves as 'NewCo', in lieu of a new name being selected.

It's interesting to note that while the IPL grants Inprise a privileged position WRT releasing binary-only versions of the database and can include community contributed code in those releases, they are not the copyright holders of any community contributed code. So, while they can keep their version of the software in sync with the community version and reap disproportionate rewards for a while, eventually the entire codebase will have been replaced, and the software could be re-released under a different license such as the GPL, removing their privileged position for any versions produced from that point on, and also removing the possibility that anyone else would be in a privileged position thereafter (including NewCo).

Looked at this way, open source licensing is just a formal way of stating that the only asset that any company or project has is the people involved in it.

While Inprise has certainly not done anything illegal, since they are in fact the copyright holders of the InterBase source code, they seem to be committing what might be called a 'reverse fork' (a term I just coined). They had, for all intents and purposes, already transferred maintainership to the NewCo group in a very public way. According to open source 'community standards', maintainership is a matter of consensus, and the way that consensus was subsequently ignored by Inprise has prompted the community to move forward with their own agenda, and shun Inprise as if they were the interloper. To many observers, it seems as though the only way to avoid a fork now is for Inprise to acknowledge the community as the de-facto maintainer.

The community consensus seems to be that most of the key InterBase developers already do not work for Inprise (at least 5 former Inprise InterBase engineers are active in the community effort), and that a fork, while painful without the pieces that Inprise has not released, is now probable but not yet inevitable.

The NewCo steering committee is currently exploring alternative business models and soliciting companies for indications of interest in support contracts, so that they can move forward with plans that do not depend on any Inprise involvement, and there is every indication that they will succeed, as current InterBase customers, many of whom have been disillusioned by Inprise's failure to allocate marketing and development resources to InterBase, are showing intense interest in a community supported version of the database.

Inprise, for its part, says that it has not yet ruled out other investments in outside InterBase companies.

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    ( Reply )

    Re: InterBase Saga Continues
    by Malcontentttt on Thursday August 17, @12:58PM
    This article is very one sided. NewCo has done the exact same kinds of things as Inprise done. They pulled the ODBC driver (which was promised to be open sourced) off and shut down the CVS server for it when Inprise pulled the rug out from under them. They are insisting on $500,000.00 worth of support contracts before they even begin as a company. They pulled out all the documentation till they get more money. Newco is by no means "the good guys" in this.

    To me this is just two commercial entitites trying to get a dominant position in what is now a open source project. This project will die if these two companies don't stop trying to sabotage the users and pull power plays.

    Inprise owns some stuff and newco owns some stuff. They are both within their rights to hold on to what they own and try to make some money off of it. So far there seems to be very little activity outside of these two commercial entitites to try and advance the code (the installer is still broke!).
    IB needs to attract independent developers, NewCo and Inprise need to stop this pissing game and try to find some common ground. Until these things happen IB is doomed.

    As for me. I was initially very enthusiastic about IB being open sourced. Here was a solid database from a reputable company being given a new life but after keeping up with this fiasco I am not so sure my enthusiasm was warranted. I will hold off on using it till they get their acts together.
    [ Reply to this ]
    • In respone to Malcontentttt...
      by Paul Beach on Thursday August 17, @01:36PM
      In Response To Malcontent....

      This article is very one sided. NewCo has done the exact same kinds of things as Inprise done. They pulled the ODBC driver (which was promised to be open sourced) off and shut down the CVS server for it when Inprise pulled the rug out from under them.

      NewCo were paying for that work to be done, without funding, we can't pay for it. Inprise have been offered it at cost.... Otherwise if and when we find funding we will then Open Source it.

      They are insisting on $500,000.00 worth of support contracts before they even begin as a company. They pulled out all the documentation till they get more money. Newco is by no means "the good guys" in this.

      Not true, as part of our attempts to get Seed Money to get the company off the ground, one of the VC companies wanted to know if there really was a business here, as such we asked if developers would be interested in purchasing support contracts with NewCo, in an attempt to see how much capital we could raise ourselves, if we had to.

      To me this is just two commercial entitites trying to get a dominant position in what is now a open source project. This project will die if these two companies don't stop trying to sabotage the users and pull power plays.

      One is a commercial entity, the other is a potential company (that doesn't exist), that has a number of people who have a lot of InterBase knowledge, who would like to see InterBase suceed in the Open Source world. A number of the potential NewCo staff worked on this project for 7 or 8 months without pay, in an attempt to make this work.


      Inprise owns some stuff and newco owns some stuff. They are both within their rights to hold on to what they own and try to make some money off of it. So far there seems to be very little activity outside of these two commercial entitites to try and advance the code (the installer is still broke!).

      NewCo owns nothing.

      IB needs to attract independent developers, NewCo and Inprise need to stop this pissing game and try to find some common ground. Until these things happen IB is doomed.

      Still waiting for Inprise to come back to us, on a number of issues that would allow us all to move forward. In terms of independent development try the firebird project at sourceforge.

      As for me. I was initially very enthusiastic about IB being open sourced. Here was a solid database from a reputable company being given a new life but after keeping up with this fiasco I am not so sure my enthusiasm was warranted. I will hold off on using it till they get their acts together.

      Imagine what it was like on the inside.

      [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
      by Helen Borrie on Thursday August 17, @08:23PM
      This guy doesn't know squit about what's going on in InterBase Open Source. He's not among the 50 or so people working on the builds and the tool projects. He wants to groan about what he can't get for free, waiting like a complaining crow for other people to fix broken code. Blaming Inprise and Newco because he thinks it's not happening. Propagating untruths because he can't be bothered getting his head around what's really going on.

      He displays an astonishing ignorance of the situation. Newco is an idea, not a company, and it has no assets except the community members who are working day and night to build a sustainable support infrastructure behind Open Source InterBase.

      Newco owns NO stuff. Newco didn't pull the ODBC driver - it doesn't even own it. The owner didn't release it. He made the alphas available on his own server and he chose to withdraw it. Newco is holding on to nothing because it owns nothing.

      What "dominant position" ? What "power plays" ? Sabotaging what users? Ourselves?

      The people behind Newco don't want to play any time-consuming and frustrating games. We want to get on and support an IB back up and running in the best possible environment, just as we did when we got behind ISC and what Inprise promised to do. Integrating with Inprise R & D is a really important part of that. It's really hard to achieve while the Inprise moguls won't let them work with the community that they have been part of for so long.

      This is Open Source, buddy. There is plenty going on if you look in the right places. It's non-commercial and it's people working on their own time to make InterBase better. Get acquainted with it and find a way to help.

      [ Reply to this ]
      • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
        by Malcontent on Thursday August 17, @11:58PM
        I think you are being dishonest when you say NewCo is not a company and it does not own anything. Although you may technically be right that no official documents have been signed yet there can be no doubt that NewCo exists as a collection of people are working very hard to build a commercial company. Take a look at the interbase2000.org web site and you will see contacts listed for support contracts and VC money. Are you telling me that the contacts listed there are signing support contracts for and by themselves? I think not.
        As for ownership once again technically NewCo does not own the ODBC driver but one of the principles of this NewCo does. He told everybody that it would be released Open Source and he reneged on that promise because Borland screwed newco.

        How much you want to bet that if Borland made nice and gave a couple of million to newco the odbc driver and developer documents would immediately re-appear.

        I am asking for nothing. If I can't get what I need with IB then I will use mysql or postgres or any one of dozens of free or cheap databases. If the installer is broken or there is no ODBC driver it does not hurt me one little bit it hurts you!. Do you honestly think that it harms me when you pull the developers manual from your web site? Give me a break.

        Anybody has a right to do anything they want with whatever intellectual property they own. I am just trying to point out that you can not berate borland for not releasing their IP when you don't want to release your IP.

        You state that this is "open source buddy" and well maybe kind of you are right. The problem is that you are not likely to get a lot of independant help if your potential developers are thinking all they are doing is helping you make more money. The community when it forms will be bigger then newco and will include competitors to newco yet the interbase2000.org reads like NewCo IS the community.

        Like I said time will tell if this botched beginning will lead to a happy ending. I hope it does. I hope a community does build around IB. I hope everybody makes a ton of money including borland and me. Databases are wonderful tools with which to make money and I owe a substantial amount my living to them. I have been able to make money with everything from ms-access to btrieve to postgres. I would love to add IB to my toolbelt.

        [ Reply to this ]
        • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
          by Helen Borrie on Friday August 18, @12:47AM
          The dishonesty, sir, is your own, in persisting with trying to make your falsehoods appear true. Anyone, including yourself, may read what the Newco group is trying to achieve, by looking at Ann Harrison's message to which the two links are attached.

          The author of the ODBC driver is not, repeat not, a principal of Newco. Nor is he involved in the Newco activities. Why should he release his work Open Source? By your token, what are you offering to release Open Source?

          Just accept - as everyone else has to - that Inprise didn't release an ODBC driver and get on with your life. At least one commercial company has an ODBC driver in beta now; if there is a market for it, customers will buy it.

          Get to grips with what's happening in Firebird on SourceForge. Those guys aren't doing what they are doing for Newco or Inprise. They are independent and they are blazing along on their own motivation. Long may they continue.

          [ Reply to this ]
          • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
            by Malcontent on Friday August 18, @05:28PM
            I really should not persist in this pointless argument but...

            You stated that NewCo does not exist. You stated that "it's an idea not a company". Well who is selling support contracts the idea or the company? Is this Wayne guy selling contracts on his own? How about Dalton is he negotiating for VC money for himself?

            "The author of the ODBC driver is not, repeat not, a principal of Newco. Nor is he involved in the Newco activities. Why should he release his work
            Open Source? By your token, what are you offering to release Open Source? "

            The author does not HAVE to release anything (I said so several times). He owns whatever IP he has generated. The only possible reason I can think of is that he said he was going to do it. If he wants to go back on his word it's no skin off of my teeth. To me him backing out of his promise is no different then Inprise backing out their promise.
            I on the other hand am offering nothing. Just like I didn't offer anything to the linux source code, or to the apache source code or to the php source code. I am just a guy on the street trying to make money and foisting open source goods on an unsuspecting public. I use the products, I sell services and support to the local businesses and I help out if any of friends get stuck. You know what there are a million other people just like me. We use this stuff and try to make the best of it even though it's a pain in the butt sometimes.

            All this name calling, finger pointing, and whining does not hurt me. I don't care all that much. There was a similar topic on slashdot and look at how few people even bothered to post. Apparently a lot of other people don't care all that much either. This fiasco has altered peoples perceptions of you and of Inprise/borland no doubt about it.

            Like I said I really hope the firebird people get something going. What is needed is third party involvement.

            [ Reply to this ]
          • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
            by Nick Lothian on Sunday August 20, @03:13AM
            Helen,

            I've been following the Interbase saga since the begining. I think you and the IBDI people have done a great job.

            I do think you are deluding yourself if you think that IBDI/NewCo is totally free of playing political games.

            For instance, when Inprise decided not to go ahead with the spin off of Interbase.com, didn't Ann Harrison say:


            The problem with the ODBC driver is this. Jim contracted with
            ISC to write the driver. Since we have no deal with Inprise,
            we have no money and no way to pay him for his work. He is
            understandably reluctant to put his code out open source where
            anyone can grab and run with it.

            http://www.egroups.com/message/IBDI/1001

            Wasn't there an open letter on the Interbase2000 website that claimed something like "Inprise can do what they like, we have the community, and we have Jim's ODBC driver?"

            Of course, Inprise is playing really stupid games, too. Not releasing the docs or the test suite has done them no good what so ever.

            I would think, if I wanted to really put the pressure on Inprise the way to do it would be to be to claim something like "Kylix (Delphi for Linux) is going to be no good because Inprise don't understand the marketplace - look how badly they screwed up the Interbase Open source release"

            But that would be more political games.. hmm.. fun, but not really helpful.

            Shrug - I don't really care. I'll continue to use Interbase, because it is a great product.

            [ Reply to this ]
        • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
          by Tobias Giesen on Saturday November 04, @06:07AM
          independEnt, thAn

          [ Reply to this ]
      • Re: InterBase Saga Continues:Malcontenttt.the guy
        by Carolyn Husemoller on Monday August 21, @10:52AM
        Helen,

        It is presumptuous to assume that "malcontenttt" is of the male gender. Statistically it is more likely of course, but you never know.


        Carolyn in California

        P.S. I think the NewCo is doing an admiral job trying to recover from the stunt Borland pulled on them and the InterBase(r) community at large The behavior of some of the executives at Borland was deceitful and deceptive. The shareholders and board should really look at dumping these crooked clowns. It taints the corporation credibility.

        [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
      by Bruce Perens on Friday August 18, @01:47PM
      Whoah! We try to be a little less heated in our dialogue here on Technocrat, folks!


      There is infighting and political maneuvering on the Inprise board, although it is mostly nothing to do with Interbase. The Corel merger plans resulted in one director walking off the board because he thought the merger was inappropriate. When the members of a board change, goals change, and I think this has caused some of the confusion we've seen.


      We should also consider how the stock market can change the plans of companies. Since we started hearing about Open Source Interbase, Corel stock decreased in value causing Inprise to change its merger plans. When a market downturn like that on NASDAQ happens while a company is starting up, you can bet that will change their plans too.


      I happen to be a director or chairman on 4 corporation boards. Sometimes, they fight. There will always be politics and conflict, reversals, indecision, and confusion when more than one person works on a project. Expect it.


      What is important to us is that a lot of good pieces of Interbase, really most of the product, are already free. We don't need the trademark, and we can write our own ODBC driver or hack one of the existing ones.


      Thanks

      Bruce

      [ Reply to this ]
      • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
        by Jason Earl on Saturday August 19, @12:30AM
        We certainly *can* do those things, but why would we. All of us have seen the pain and suffering that goes along with a fork, and this one is shaping up to be a nasty one. No doubt we will end up with an "official" Interbase and an "unofficial" Firebird, and both communities will almost certainly be at war forever.

        Quite frankly, I have enough problems without having to choose which of two different database forks is going to become the "standard." Especially when there are already well-established, unambiguoulsy Open Source, databases available.

        If you haven't used PostgreSQL recently, you don' t know what you are missing, and if you need a SQL type interface to the filesystem then MySQL will certainly give you your money's worth.

        These types of corporate wars are fun to watch, but who in their right mind would want to contribute? Apparently the folks at both Borland and NewCo have forgotten that when it comes to databases it's a buyers market, and their antics aren't helping.

        [ Reply to this ]
        • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
          by Pavel Cisar on Saturday August 19, @04:01AM
          Maybe *you* don't care, but you should understand, that there is a swarm of long-time InterBase customers and users out there, and the whole "corporate war" as you call it is all about how to give them a chance to proceed with their investments in superb InterBase technology. Inprise hasn't enough good will nor resources to that. IBDI is mostly formed from IB customers, developers who use IB to make solutions for them and former IB engineers who love IB. It would be nice, if whole world and you will use InterBase, but this so called "corporate war" is not about this. You'll make your own decision what to use and no one from IBDI would try to convince you to use IB, but there are people who chose InterBase long time ago and who wants to go with it also in future. This case is about to give a future to InterBase.

          [ Reply to this ]
          • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
            by Lester Caine on Monday August 21, @02:18AM
            Here, Here
            I have three years of my life invested in Interbase, and now that I have got away from BDE thanks to IBObjects, my customers are happy as well.
            The threat of pulling the plug does not mean that we can just switch to another database. It has taken a year to get things tested and approved, and would require running the whole test procedure run again on a new support suit.
            I am not alone in wanting to protect my investment by being able to continue to install what I have now, without the gun!

            [ Reply to this ]
    Correction: ISC is not IBDI
    by Helen Borrie on Thursday August 17, @10:42PM
    Mr Bernstein incorrectly states that "IBDI became ISC". IBDI was (and still is) an unincorporated organisation of (mostly) developers and other interested people who had a common interest in saving InterBase and making sure the v. 6 Beta would see the light of day as a full release.

    ISC (InterBase Software Corporation) was a company incorporated within Inprise that was to be spun off as an independent company under the presidency of Ann Harrison. ISC is now just another Inprise protected brand-name.

    A group within the IBDI formed at the beginning of the year to form a support company for OS InterBase. That group is again active and using the nickname "Newco" to refer to the company which is being set up.
    [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: Correction: ISC is not IBDI
      by Michael Bernstein on Friday August 18, @12:58PM
      Thanks for the correction Helen, I do like to get my facts straight. Oh well, at least I just missed one.

      [ Reply to this ]
    Re: InterBase Saga Continues
    by who cares? on Friday August 18, @12:31PM
    At this stage I have to say:

    Who cares?

    If "we" are willing to accept 150+ Linux Distros, 5 BSD's etc la, then why worry about this political split?

    If one group comes up with better code/ideas, it will move into other code.

    Let the diversity flower!
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: InterBase Saga Continues
    by Jim on Friday August 18, @03:05PM
    Postgress is forming a company similar to Interbase and it was stated that it wouldn't be a good idea for all the original Postgress developers to join the same company. I happen to think the same is true for Interbase.

    It's my understanding you would've have 80% ownership of the spin off had it gone thru. Is that true?

    -Jim
    [ Reply to this ]
    • Huh?
      by Bruce Perens on Friday August 18, @05:37PM
      Who would have had 80% ownership of the spin-off? Inprise? The employees?

      Bruce

      [ Reply to this ]
    • Re: InterBase Saga Continues
      by Ned Lilly on Saturday August 19, @09:33AM
      Hi,

      Just to be clear, the company is Great Bridge (www.greatbridge.com), which will be offering commercial support for PostgreSQL. It's not connected with the project in any direct way, other than the fact that Tom Lane and Jan Wieck are working with the company.

      We agree that it would be bad for any one company (even nice guys like us) to be perceived as "controlling" a project. That's the baggage that Interbase has to somehow overcome - although it can be done (Zope and Enhydra are two good examples).

      Regards,

      Ned Lilly
      VP Hacker Relations
      Great Bridge

      [ Reply to this ]
    Re: InterBase Saga Continues
    by Nocturnal Wilderbeast on Wednesday September 06, @03:50AM
    When I first heard about Interbase becoming Open Source I was fairly excited about what was to come. I hadn't really had anything to do with it, but, it certainly looked like it would something worthwhile to invest some time in.

    The impressions that I get being on the outside of most of the action, and getting information from the websites are not good.

    What is disappointing is that now 'NewCo' seem to be sponsoring or encouraging a fork from the the Inprise code base. It seems to be a case of spoilt bratism. Rather than rallying behind InterBase and concentrating on making that better, the focus seems to be on screwing Inprise as hard as possible. Sour grapes doesn't build a strong community.

    I'm sure it was disappointing that the spinoff plans didn't come off, but, if you sit back and really look at the interbase2000 website, it looks like a bunch of kindergarten kids whining. "It's just not as good if you still own it." seems to be the theme.

    Please, let's have one version of Interbase, with 100% of the developers working on it, not 2 or 3 or 5 with less than 100% effort, and animosity between the groups.

    With the amount of effort put into slagging off Inprise, the build environment could have been fixed by now :-)
    [ Reply to this ]
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