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Firebird Relational Database 1.5 Final Out 445

firebirdy writes "The Firebird Project is pleased to announce that the v1.5 release of the Firebird database engine is now available for immediate download. The v1.5 release represents a major upgrade to the engine, which has been developed by an independent team of voluntary developers from the InterBase(tm) source code that was released by Borland under the InterBase Public License v.1.0 on 25 July 2000. Development on the Firebird 2 codebase began early in Firebird 1 development, with the porting of the Firebird 1 C code to C++ and the first major code-cleaning. Firebird 1.5 is the first release of the Firebird 2 codebase. Install packages are currently only available for Windows and Linux but other platforms should follow shortly." This product is not to be confused with newly renamed Firefox web browser, which was also called Firebird for some time.
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Firebird Relational Database 1.5 Final Out

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  • Bleh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CeleronXL ( 726844 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:47PM (#8366624) Homepage
    The only reason anyone even knows about them anyway is because of the former Mozilla Firebird. :O
    • Right (Score:5, Funny)

      by pheared ( 446683 ) < minus language> on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:57PM (#8366767) Homepage
      So, I typed in but somehow I ended up on wtf?
    • Re:Bleh (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CeleronXL ( 726844 )
      Flamebait? Maybe. I don't think there's enough support of the FirebirdSQL system here to really be a successful bait of any flame. Though of course what I said is very true, regardless of whether or not it's negative towards the FirebirdSQL people. They gained incredible publicity through this. It's doubtful that this news post would be here today had it not been for the naming conflict, because no one would even care.
      • I think you're wrong (Score:5, Informative)

        by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <<roystgnr> <at> <>> on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:42PM (#8367225) Homepage
        Slashdot reported it when Interbase was first announced [] to be going open source, and followed up on the actual [] releases [] afterward, so lots of people cared a few years ago. Interbase keeps getting mentioned by users in more general database discussions as well, so at least some Slashdot users still care, even users who are more interested in database features than in database names.
      • Re:Bleh (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marcovje ( 205102 )
        Nobody are the amateurs, and the Slashdot wannabee ha4ors. They also don't get that this is the only commercial grade db system available for free. (and no, mysql doesn't live up to that).

        Professionals would already know Interbase (Firebirds previous name). It's the main database technology behind Delphi, which is still the best selling bulk development tool after Microsoft's stuff. And the only major commercial development tool with a Linux version.
        • Re:Bleh (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Sxooter ( 29722 )
          If Firebird is the only free commercial quality database, why isn't it running the .org and .info domains?

          There is a free database running those domains, but it ain't MySQL or Firebird.

    • Re:Bleh (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:12PM (#8366941)
      Wrong. This is a fine database that was built from the once open-sourced Borland Interbase. Anybody working with free databases should know it (people who are comparing it to MySql: is mysql a *real*, relational, transactional database server? stored procedures? triggers? foreign keys? )
      Related to the naming issue: the mozilla people choosed a name that was already taken by another project, they changed their name now, and that's it...
      • Re:Bleh (Score:5, Funny)

        by jejones ( 115979 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:38PM (#8367176) Journal
        I think the writers of the Firebird BBS would have something to say about who chose a name already taken by another project.
    • Re:Bleh (Score:4, Informative)

      by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:36PM (#8367156) Homepage Journal
      Firebird has a few minor claims to fame. The big one is that it's a real relational DBMS, not an ISAM driver with a pseudo-relational front-end.
      • Re:Bleh (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @07:35PM (#8367790)

        Firebird has a few minor claims to fame.

        What about distributed transactions? AFAIK, no other open source relational database supports them (neither PostgreSQL, nor MAXDB, nor MySQL). I do quite a bit of distributed object programming, so I can't do without distributed transactions, and Firebird's work well.

        What about server-side event notification? AFAIK PostgreSQL is the only other open source relational database that supports them. Switching from a polling architecture to event notification can yield huge performance benefits.

        What about nested transactions? Firebird 1.5 supports savepoints, which are a basic rendition of nested transactions. AFAIK, MAXDB is the only other open source relational database with nested transaction support (though MAXDB's are full-fledged nested transactions, not just savepoints).

        This isn't just some Firebird-propaganda-bullet-list. I find all these features indispensable.

    • by rossjudson ( 97786 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:48PM (#8367293) Homepage
      I've used it in several projects, over the years. In my day job, we recently added Firebird to the list of databases that we support as warehouse targets for our application. Firebird's instant installation, small footprint, and portability (a few meg) are good reasons to do this. Another good reason is that it outperforms Oracle on the same hardware, as well as several other commercial databases.

      We used to deploy Interbase as part of a product at a company I worked at years back. We would install, start the system (which had multi-gigabyte databases at times), and then not look at it again for YEARS. Two years could go by without tuning, transaction log clearing, or anything else, for that matter. It doesn't have transaction logs (doesn't need them), and sweeps itself clear of most detritus automatically.

      Backups could effortlessly be done on the fly. Full two-phase commit support. And when it comes to complex transactions, it's one of the best databases out there because of its generational architecture (something it shares with PostgreSQL).

      There are a few rough edges on it, like the lack of a standard GUI administration tool. Java support was slow to evolve. The lack of care given by Borland hurt the product for a time. The Firebird people seem to have done a lot of hard work, and deserve praise.

      And for the record, Firefox or whatever the hell it is calling itself this week is one of the stupidest excuses for a software package I've seen to date. It's Mozilla minus most of the features that make Moz useful and extensible. It doesn't run any faster than Moz in resident mode. It performs no useful function I am aware of. The adulation it receives utterly escapes me; it seems to be a prime example of building software for the past. The engineering effort would have been far better spent on Moz itself.
      • by CeleronXL ( 726844 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:56PM (#8367404) Homepage
        To each his own. Firefox is definitely faster than the Mozilla Suite, aka Seamonkey. You haven't really used it have you? Firefox not useful and extensible? Are you kidding? With XUL and its extension engine it is incredibly extensible.
        Note that in my comments about FirebirdSQL, I only mentioned the company. I haven't used the database and so I will acknowledge that it may very well be a great database, whereas it would appear that you clearly have not used Fx if you honestly think it's not extensible. And if it is the case that you haven't used it, you can hardly call it a poor excuse for a software package.

        This is obviously going to get modded down as flamebait or trolling, as is always the case on Slashdot when a good debateable topic comes up.
      • From our experience Interbase needs a lot of baby sitting.

        Our databases would be less than a gig but any time it did a sweep it would take up one whole processor and go bye byes for an exteneded period of time. In fairness to Interbase, we were using the Borland Database Engine as well which was a cause for most of our database headaches but I would not recommend Interbase in a large production environment.

        I thought the best thing about Interbase were the GUI admin tools (IBExpert in particular).
  • This project (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aliens ( 90441 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:48PM (#8366639) Homepage Journal
    Just kind of curious if anyone would care at all if there hadn't been the big stink with the name conflicts.

    I mean, has anyone used this database? Is it really of any note that v1.5 is out?
    • Re:This project (Score:5, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:59PM (#8366797) Homepage Journal
      Its main claim is that it sucks less than Interbase [], so if you have to support a horrid Interbase installation, then upgrading to Firebird would probably be a good idea.

      On the other hand, I hated having to administer that hell-pit of a server so badly that I wrote a migration program [] to transfer entire databases from Firebird to PostgreSQL. I can't describe how happy I was to switch a fairly large online store []'s backend to a modern platform.

      • Re:This project (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arf_barf ( 639612 )
        Have you considered that what's good for you might not be good for everybody else? I for one, take the ease of administration and deployment of Firebird any day over something as horrendous as Postgre in that department.

        Heck, in my small MS centric world there isn't even a way to distribute Postgre with my application. The only good thing about the Postgre from my point of view is the BSD license and that's about it....
    • Re:This project (Score:5, Informative)

      by bwt ( 68845 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:14PM (#8366958) Homepage
      Why do we ask companies to GPL their aging products and then ask if anyone cares?

      This RDBMS is a viable peer to PostgreSQL. It has many features that MySQL does not have.

      Just the other day, there was a good article [] about this database.
    • Client caching (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:36PM (#8367155) Homepage Journal
      While Postgres is the better database, installing Firebird/Interbase is a much easier task for the average user. That makes it a terrific little cross-platform client-caching database, such as letting the spreadsheet users slice at the data with an ODBC driver without killing the primary database server. For the same reasons, it's a handy tool for writing small standalone database apps without locking in to a Win32 codebase (e.g. MS Access.) I'd say it even has potential to serve the same kind of markets that the "light" servers like Sybase SQL Anywhere serve.
      • Re:Client caching (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I use both firebird and postgres almost daily. They are very similar in many ways. Both are easy to install, and administer. Both have support for true database features like foreign keys, triggers, and transactions. Interbase runs well on Windows. Although I don't like using windows as a server the fact that our clients feel like they have a choice between linux and windows has helped us close the deal on a few occasions (advantage Firebird). Postgres is more popular with the OpenSource community and
  • by chrysalis ( 50680 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:48PM (#8366645) Homepage
    How does it compare to MySQL for web sites, that typically makes a lot of short connections to the same database?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:53PM (#8366714)
      Firebird works really good for Web sites.
      Much better than Internet Explorer.
    • Basically, the main difference is that Firebird is a fully transactional database server, whereas MySQL is not.

      Rollback and commit.

      • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:45PM (#8367262) Homepage Journal
        That's one difference. But query optimization is also a big deal. It's not obvious from simple queries, but MySQL takes a big performance hit if you do anything that involves relations between tables. That's why Slashdot went to indexing posts using a single field, instead of referencing the parent story every time. (It also has the effect of discouraging "first posts" since there's no longer a post #1. But Taco doesn't actually care about that!) I find it hard to take seriously any database that doesn't optimize queries.
    • by joeykiller ( 119489 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:34PM (#8367131) Journal
      I've not tried Firebird since the pre-1.0 versions, but I have to say that it was nice to use. What was most interesting for me was the availability of subselects, referential integrity between tables and the stored procedures. All of the stuff that MySQL lacked (and still lacks in usable form).

      Firebird was extremely easy to set up and configure (= almost no configuration). So that couldn't have been easier.

      But then there was the speed issue: At the time Firebird was not a speed daemon. The one thing that bugged me most, though, was that when connecting to the database -- even if you did so from a remote host -- you had to know the physical location of the database file on the server!

      It's strange what turns you off, and this peculiarity annoyed me enough to start investigating other options instead. I'm now using Postgresql when I need the more advanced SQL features.
      • by F1re ( 249002 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @08:18PM (#8368208) Homepage Journal
        You don't need to know the physical location anymore. Version 1.5 has aliases.
  • Woohoo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) * <`ten.elcychtneves' `ta' `kram'> on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:50PM (#8366668) Homepage
    I'm so glad this version of FireBird renders CSS properly... no wait...
  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:50PM (#8366677) Journal
    no it's a database!
  • Ooooh, THAT firebird (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eberlin ( 570874 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:51PM (#8366689) Homepage
    Seriously, though -- I hadn't heard of this particular firebird before the Mozilla fiasco happened. I'm sure I can speak for a lot of folks who couldn't name this project when asked to name the OSS database apps they know.

    Of course now they'll be known as the folks that got the name "Firebird" when Firebird changed its name to Firefox. Oh yeah, and they make a database.
  • by nebaz ( 453974 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:53PM (#8366717)
    Due to trademark infringement potential and other potential confusion, Firebird Database Engine has just changed its name to

    F------d Database Engine

    More news to follow.

    P.S. For any lawyers, etc. reading this, the above is an example of "parody", not subject to the definition of "slander" or "libel".
  • by polv0 ( 596583 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:54PM (#8366730)
    I work as a data-mining professional and aside from creating statistical models on flat-files, I manage the process of transforming and joining relational databases into a a flat file for model building.

    Currently we use Oracle for this work, but in the past we tried switching to MySQL but found that it lacked some of the key features such as materialized views, nested sub-queries and a variety of Oracle SQL functions that we find useful. MySQL seemed to be geared towards maintaining a real-time database to support customer interaction, rather than as an environment for assembling static data sources.

    Could Firebird be a viable open-source alternative, or are there others?
    • The features you mention are now available in 4.1 - they were never a priority since they are easily handled in code.
      Granted, subselects save on network traffic (although it seems to me it can also be done a little more clunkily with TEMPORARY tables).

      Don't see where you see this distinction between real-time and static data in MySQL, but until you're more specific about the host of Oracle features, I still won't know.

      I, on the other hand, am still annoyed that Oracle doesn't allow taking a slice of a res
      • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:45PM (#8367268) Homepage
        I, on the other hand, am still annoyed that Oracle doesn't allow taking a slice of a result set and still can't do outer/left/right joins in a standard fashion.

        What are you talking about?

        ANSI standard syntax for such joins was added two versions ago in Oracle. Personally, I hate the ANSI syntax.

        What exactly does "taking a slice" of a result set mean? Oracle gives you half a dozen different ways to do this. The standard one is to use native dynamic sql to add arbitrary WHERE clause conditions at runtime. If that isn't enough, Oracle 9i provides a far greater capability: pipelined table functions allow arbitrary programmatic construction of a result set that can be used as a table in a FROM clause.
        • What exactly does "taking a slice" of a result set mean?

          I suspect the poster is talking about linear slicing at the row level; in PostgreSQL, for example, you can do select ... where ... limit 25 offset 50 to get rows 50-74 of a result set. MySQL has a similar syntax. Oracle supports a size limiting clause, but I don't remember if it has a way to specify the starting offset.

    • by bwt ( 68845 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:33PM (#8367118) Homepage
      I'm also an Oracle guy. I find MySQL loathesome and inadquate for all buy toy-level applications. I see Firebird and PostgreSQL both as viable midrange solutions. I think they each could work in settings were you aren't really stressing the newest features of Oracle, but want "standard" RDBMS functionality. Both have stored procedures, triggers, and some kinds of subqueries (at least in the WHERE clause -- oracle has them also in the from clause and even in the SELECT clause).

      I think you'll find that materialized views, at least as far as doing refresh-on-commit and query rewriting, are a really advanced feature that only Oracle has. In many warehousing or decision support applications, they are a must have feature that makes the difference between project success and failure.

      Assuming you aren't in such a high performance setting, you can often simulate a materialized view by simply populating a transformation table using stored procedures. In such settings, I think either Firebird or PostgreSQL would work fine, cost less, and avoid icky proprietary licence restrictions.

  • They don't make this apparent in their homepage. How do I use this? Is there an ODBC driver? Can I talk to it with a PHP driven website?
    • What language? What platform?

      Let's start with a nice Win32 Gui to administer the db: IBExpert []

      OK, now the drivers: there are plenty of ODBC, OleDB, .NET and JDBC drivers available. I personally use IBProvider [], it's a OleDB driver. I have also used the open sourced ODBC [] driver with great success.

  • I love PostgreSQL. It's OO, blazingly fast, easy to install, robust, and free as free can be. All sorts of things that Firebird is not. And the name doesn't have a chance of *ever* conflicting with anything. Hah.
    • I love PostgreSQL. It's OO, blazingly fast, easy to install, robust, and free as free can be.

      Easy to install? I guess if you've installed it before. I found it amazingly complicated to install and never did get it working right. I ditched it for MySQL which was much simpler. I never need to screw around with the pg_hba.conf file (or whatever it is) to setup access permissions.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:11PM (#8366933)
        Mysql easy?? I couldn't even begin to get it to install so I had to revert old school and use a sheets of paper and a filing cabinet for my database.
      • PostgreSQL is trivial to install. Actually, there was a binary package for just about any unix-like OS I ever wanted to run it on. Compiling it from source is not hard either, even if there are more steps involved that just "configure; make; make install", due to it not running as root, which is a good thing.

        Configuration, what you seem to be talking about, is not rocket science either. Of course it is harder than configuring MySQL, because it does more. In the case of access permissions, PostgreSQL seper

    • I too love postgresql, but let's be honest:

      1: The OO stuff as regards table inheritence is broken, and no one's in a hurry to fix it.
      2: It's easy for me to install, for some people, not so much.
      3: FirebirdSQL is just as free as PostgreSQL, using their own version of the Mozilla Public License.

      The main things that PostgreSQL is that FirebirdSQL is not is heavily tested in enterprise environments. Remember, every time you go to, the database serving up that site is MySQL, but the database s
  • by mr_majestyk ( 671595 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @05:59PM (#8366790)
    I tried building the Firebird code a few months ago, and found out that step 1 is...

    ...start with a running version of Firebird!

    Bootstrapping might seem like a K00l trick, but there is something uncomfortable about self-referential build procedures (not to mention that it was a pain in the ass to find a preexisting version of Firebird to run).

    Gimme a pile of c/cpp & h files and let me build it from scratch, dammit!

    Is that possible today? Dunno...the build guide [] appears to be still under construction.
  • by agoliveira ( 188870 ) <.adilson. .at.> on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:00PM (#8366803)
    Why are you people bashing so hard about the naming issue? You know what? I don't care!
    I know Firebird DB since it's earlier days and I was a Interbase user before that. And I loved it. Why? Because the kind of job I did that time required a simple, efective, maintence-free database and Firebird is exactly that. You can just install it and forget it. The whole database is just one file (at least was) so a simple tar or zip will backup your stuff.
    Yeah, yeah, I know there is MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc but as I said, I'm not on this kind of job anymore and even if I was, while firebird does what I want (and well) why should I care about other RDBMS?
    • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:10PM (#8366925) Homepage Journal
      The whole database is just one file (at least was) so a simple tar or zip will backup your stuff.

      That's all well and good, except that you're completely wrong. First, you can back up any database that uses OS-level files using tar and gzip - that's certainly nothing special for Interbase/Firebird. Second, we experienced table corruptions constantly that resulted in rows that were still present in the table, but couldn't be fetched. Relational integrity means jack squat when referenced rows suddenly cease to be accessible.

      Interbase/Firebird obviously worked for at least some people, or else it would've been altogether dropped years ago, but it's bitten enough people that it's just not accurate to call it "maintence-free" (unless that has a backhand slam at the abyssmal state of the administrative tools, and you meant "-free" as in "-not-capable-of").

      • by nconway ( 86640 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @08:33PM (#8368386)
        First, you can back up any database that uses OS-level files using tar and gzip - that's certainly nothing special for Interbase/Firebird.

        Uh, no. A typical modern RDBMS will use a scheme similar to WAL (write ahead logging) to record data changes and allow recovery from crashes. Unless you can manage to make tar+gzip atomic (which is true if you're using a filesystem-level snapshot feature, but not true if you're actually using tar), you won't get a consistent on-disk snapshot of a DBMS like that. The reason is that the WAL and the data files will be out of sync.

        In order to effectively back up such a database using tar, you need to shut down the DBMS (which is hardly an appropriate backup technique),
  • by Unominous Coward ( 651680 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:01PM (#8366813)
    You know what, a good product often has to revamp its image in order to accelerate takeup. I suggest they change their name to something fiesty, energetic and powerful-sounding.

    Why not combine the fiestyness of a fox with the power of fire. I suggest something like Foxfire or Firefox!

  • by holizz ( 737615 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:01PM (#8366818) Homepage
    to serve up pages, one to view them... and one Firebird to rule them all?
  • I don't know a thing about Firebird, but I'm not prepared to dismiss it simply because of a name conflict with Firefox. Maybe it's a great database. Maybe they didn't treat Firefox fairly when disputing the duplicate name. Maybe they had a legitimate right to their name and the Mozilla folks should have been more diligent about picking a name.

    Either way, I doubt the people at Firebird deserve the occasional vitriol from others on this thread.
  • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:08PM (#8366900)
    Well, firebird is definitely a good contender, but I still want a database server that's fast and small... and the faster and smaller the better. Problem is I need most of the features you'll see in a high end one, and I need it to be open source.. SQLite was actually a contender at one point, but I want replication as well.. so.. my question is when is someone gonna fill this niche?
    • I don't think there's ever going to be a truly light and fast database server that pleases everybody.


      Because to please everyone, you have to...please every one. Which means to offer the features they need. And even if you're an ace programmer, I don't think it's all that easy to de-couple the code to the point that you can just flip a few compiler flags and add or remove features at will.

      For instance, all you need is replication. What if someone else doesn't give flying rip about replication, but needs 100% Ansi SQL 99 compliance (something that very few database servers seem to have, oddly). In the stable releases of MySQL, subqueries aren't available. Subqueries! Don't tell me that you can always do the query some other way; I want my subqueries. So I opted for the heavier Postgres engine. When MySQL's stable version offers subqueries, I may switch to it, but at this point I'm fairly familiar with Postgres and don't necessarily want to risk having to rewrite thousands of lines of query code ("Standard" Query Language?!? *What* standard?)

      Because there's no one group to please, I don't think anyone's ever going to "fill this niche" because there are a hundred other niches that need filling -- after all, for some people, internationalization and ISO Latin capabilities are crucial; for others, it's roughage.

      Database development takes a while -- or at least, it takes a while to do well. There are a ton of MP3 players out there that actually work, but very few database servers that do. It requires a lot of mathematical, computational, and algorithmic knowledge, as well as being kept up to date on the latest in sorting methodolgies, matrices calculations and who knows what else (I sure don't!). So it's only really "profitable" to have one database project that offers all of the features people ask for, rather then 5 that cater to different preferences. Even "bulky" database servers like Postgres seem to run fine on what are today considered "obsolete" computers, so "fast" and "small" are not really the number one criteria anymore.
    • by Sxooter ( 29722 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:38PM (#8367172)
      Ohhh. and I need a dump truck that's fast and small, but can carry 28 metric tonnes of stone at the same time. And it needs a built in hot tub. And a satellite dish.

      Comon, every piece of software is a compromise. If you need a lot of features, then it isn't gonna be small. If you need it small and fast it's gonna be missing some features.

      Fast, featureful, small. Pick two.
  • If you go to the Firebird Project website [], you'll see they feature, quite respectfully, Mozilla's recent decision to change their name to Firefox. Remember that the Mozilla team has gone through a lot of name changes. Camino was changed to Chimera, and Phoenix was changed to the rather unfortunate "Firebird" which was already a project name. So it's not like the name "Firebird" was all that entrenched.

    I think it's a symptom of Mozilla both try to brand, and being an Open Source project in which one monolithic product was split into various and sundry projects, each of which got bizarely named. I mean, there's nothing about any of the application titles that indicates its use or purpose.

    I myself vote for MozillaMail and MozillaBrowser or something of that ilk instead of Thunderbird and Firefox. Then the package now called "Mozilla" could be renamed to MozillaComplete or something like that.
  • Under whelmed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:19PM (#8367002)
    There appears to be two broad groups on this site - the useful ones (you know their posts when you see them) and the other group.
    Most of the posts I'm seeing here so far belong in the other group. Today they can't seem to get past a naming issue (which the DB had first BTW), and appear to have no interest in what the product is.
    When you are reading *and writing* to your database and there is money attached to the data integrity, this product will be fine. MySQL will not. Just imagine that you are penalised personally $1000 for every data munge that occurs in your database? I imagine that your affinity to the MySQL mindset will start to wane rather quickly.
    This database is right up with PostgreSQL and as an added bonus Firebird can be deployed on Windows and Linux. (Plus StroredProcs and Triggers galore)

    If all you can focus on however, is the project name, then be angry that Mozilla rudely co-opted the name that the DB first owned.

    And to all the slashdotters that despair at the rising tide of inane useless postings - well, you are not alone. Slashdot used to be about geek topics for geeks. New product releases, gotchas, advice, interesting hardware hacks, solving problems with FOSS etc. Now I must content myself with the current posting selections.

    And now the ultimate tirade: If you want to feed your geek/technical fetish, it's getting to the point where you'd do better watching McGyver or something.

  • by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) * on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:26PM (#8367081) Homepage Journal
    When oh when will they make the documentation browsable on the web. Instead you have to download crappy zip files which contain PDF's.

    I think that this reduces uptake of the database, becuase of the barriers to just taking a casual peek of their features. The whole documentation is just locked away with the keys.

    Perhaps this is becuase they want more people to have paid support? A PDF manual is all well and good, but at least give us a bone to chew on with a feature list, reasons why people should use the database and so forth.

  • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:30PM (#8367104) Journal
    the "Bitchin' Camaro Database"... :)
  • Why Firebird? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ian Bicking ( 980 ) < minus caffeine> on Monday February 23, 2004 @06:49PM (#8367305) Homepage
    I've worked with Firebird a bit (some software I develop [] supports it), but I'm not quite sure what it offers over PostgreSQL. It's difficult to work with from an administrative level, and not terribly well documented -- certainly PostgreSQL beats it on these terms. In terms of features they are mostly on par, with PostgreSQL supporting some fancy OO features that most people won't use, and Firebird perhaps having a few small features of its own (though few). PostgreSQL has much more momentum -- in large part because it's a historically open source codebase, and the code reflects that development methodology. It's accessible to outsiders and maintainable. Firebird doesn't have this, and I don't know if it will ever be very accessible. Look what happened to Mozilla... (though OpenOffice maybe is doing better?)

    Then, just to mix things up, you have SAP DB, which is open source with a very proprietary background, much like Firebird. And probably with a lot of the same problems in terms of administration and code accessibility.

    I certainly wish the developers no ill will, or to disparage their efforts -- but I've yet to see the argument for using Firebird outside of legacy projects. It's easy to argue MySQL vs. Firebird, but PostgreSQL is the real competitor.

    • Re:Why Firebird? (Score:4, Informative)

      by hobuddy ( 253368 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @07:54PM (#8367987)

      I'm not quite sure what it offers over PostgreSQL.

      • distributed transactions (these are indispensable for reliable distributed object programming (I do a lot))
      • savepoints (elementary form of nested transactions)
      • native Windows support
      • embedded mode (the database engine is capable of running as an in-process library rather than a standalone server)

      It's difficult to work with from an administrative level, and not terribly well documented...

      I agree that the documentation is mediocre, but firmly disagree that it's hard to administer. The key is: don't. Make a couple of changes in the config file if you need to, configure automatic backups, then forget about it.

  • by siberian ( 14177 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @07:03PM (#8367495)
    We are about to ship a cross platform Struts (java) based application and needed a simple, low maintenance, low overhead, cross-platform,truly free and fast sql engine.

    Enter Firebird. Installation is a breeze under both operating systems and its all plug and play after that.

    MySQL is nice but can be a maintenance headache and good luck included it in a shipping product, it violates the license or so the lawyers tell me.

    I use mysql on my webservers, I embed firebird in my shipping products. Its been great so far!

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser