Marketing Firebird: Get a Clue!

Ben Goodger ben at
Mon, 15 Sep 2003 16:15:06 -0700

Simon Willison wrote:

> I just spotted this on a weblog:
> """
> But marketing can only come when the basic user issues are handled and 
> there are two (or three) that need to get addressed.
>    1. Installer.  You need to have a standard Windows installer with 
> every single build.  Period.  Now I just checked AGAIN with the 
> nightly url and you still just have a big zip of files.  That's just 
> plain unacceptable.  If people can't install easily then they just 
> plain won't.  Want to offer a zipped version for those that don't like 
> it?  No problem but that's an additional option NOT the damn default.  
> And, yes Virginia, installation software is scriptable and automatable 
> these days so it can be tied into a standard Windows build process. 

I'm working on a new Installer that will hopefully be incorporated into 0.8.

>    2. Profile Format Changes.  I don't know what it is about the 
> Mozilla project but how many times have we all seen the message that 
> says "you need to install this into a new directory since we decided 
> (once again) to change our profile format and we don't give a rats ass 
> about backwards compatibility or being a pain in the arse to our 
> users".  Dude!  One reason I don't install Mozilla / Firebird for most 
> of my non geek Friends even though they'd like it is that losing user 
> data is unacceptable and this message is just plain scary.  Either 
> stop changing the profile formats or simply refuse new code if they 
> haven't written the import routines for the old profile format. 

We strive to minimize the impact of changes on the profile format 
between releases. In reality, there hasn't been a forced profile change 
in some time, and there usually is little reason to change profiles 
between releases - this is actually just bad/misleading release notes. 
I've been using the same Firebird profile since November ;-) Improving 
the release notes and other release documentation is a high priority.

> Cheers,
> Simon