As you probably know, a few years ago Borland decided to open source its InterBase relational database (at the time at version 6.0), to later change its mind, and close source the following versions, up to the forthcoming InterBase 2007. The community picked up the open source project, turned it into FireBird, and started adding many features and improvements to it. FireBird is fully free and open source (unlike MySQL, as you can clearly read here) and it is making inroads in many communities. But this is another story.

What got my attention (thanks to Nando for pointing this out), is that after years of reciprocal recrimination and real battles, for the first time Borland (to be more precise the Developers Tools Group, or DevCo, within Borland) is not only talking to the people at FireBird, but even sponsoring their annnual conference. Kudos to the person behind this decision (I hope that mentioning it here won't cause a turmoil, maybe it was a sort of secret!).

I really hope that Borland, IBPhonenix, and all of the other players in the IB/FB field find a way of pushing the project together. What about providing extra features and services on top of the open source project, contributing to the core? What about creating the best tools for managing it and programming againts it? I really hope this (relatively small) signal is the start of a better relationship between two communities that should be a single one.