Linux News Today: Debian Finally Switches Iceweasel Name Back to Firefox
Mozilla and Debian have finally moved past their disagreements, and Iceweasel is going back to the original name of Firefox.
We almost forgot that, a long time ago, Debian renamed Firefox to Iceweasel after a trademark debate with the Mozilla. It was portrayed as a falling-out between Mozilla and Debian, but that wasn’t exactly the case. Sure, there was some friction between the developers, who had to make a hard choice due to some trademarking issues, but these are professional people.
In fact, many of these developers are implicated in both projects, so it’s not a real conflict. Still, the issue remains valid for many years. Back in 2006, when Firefox was at version 1.5, a discussion regarding patches being submitted by Debian to the browser prompted a reaction from Mozilla. The developers decided to continue with Firefox, but under a different name – Iceweasel.
Iceweasel returns under the name of Firefox
Mozilla and Firefox are no longer in a dominant position on the market, which might be one of the reasons for this change in attitude. It’s noteworthy that things haven’t changed for Debian, which will continue to push the patches it needs for Firefox.
“Mozilla recognizes that patches applied to Iceweasel/Firefox don’t impact the quality of the product. Patches which should be reported upstream to improve the product always have been forward upstream by the Debian packagers. Mozilla agrees about specific patches to facilitate the support of Iceweasel on architecture supported by Debian or Debian-specific patches,” reads the new bug entry published by Sylvestre Ledru, who’s leading the Mozilla release management and stability teams.
It’s been 10 years since Firefox was renamed to Iceweasel, so the switch back will be weird for many people. Also, some questions remain about Mozilla’s trademark policy, and many Debian developers and users are not convinced of the good intentions of the company.
We also have to remember that Thunderbird was renamed to Icedove back in 2006. Discussions with the Icedove maintainers have started to make the transition for this package as well.