Discussions

News: Microsoft Patent .NET APIs: Potential to stifle standards effort

  1. Microsoft is in the process of applying for a wide-ranging patent that covers a variety of functions related to .NET. The patent is claimed to be very broad, and could allow Microsoft to dictate how, or whether, developers of software and devices can link to .NET.

    The article states:

    Bruce Perens, a consultant and leader of the open-source movement, worries that Microsoft's patents could shut out alternative software development. "Microsoft is being careful to patent every aspect of APIs related to .Net," he said. "It's preventing the open-source community from being involved in this area."

    Of course, it all depends on what Microsoft is trying to do with these patents. It would definately be nice to know.

    The full article can be found at...
    http://news.com.com/2100-1001-984052.html

    Threaded Messages (65)

  2. They will never change their ways.
    After all that goes on and all the court cases they still try and do whatever they can to corner markets and technologies.

    The endless fight continues
  3. Its not a surprise[ Go to top ]

    Hardly it surprised me.

    If you have expected microsoft to behave differently, you last your bet.

    The befitting answer should be to use more java on unix/linux platforms.

    I am hoping on linux community to challenge this, and if we succeed no need to worry about .NET. it will become .NOT
  4. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    Did it occur to you that this might actually be a sensible thing for Microsoft to do given the recent trend towards enforcement of dubious patents to generate revenue? Microsoft are perfectly entitled to patent their IP before someone else patents it and demands royalties from Microsoft for using their own technology. Its a ridiculous situation but Microsoft did not create the rules governing patents so they are perfectly entitled to act within them.

    Its also worth pointing out this is only an application for a patent. There is no guarantee it will be granted. I think the more important question here relates to the granting of vague patents covering software.
  5. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    History speaks for itself...

    If there is a way, they will find it and exploit it.

    It's not paranoia..it's just a re-run. Different time, different place but the same game
  6. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    Won't be granted? Are you kidding? A guy patented swinging on a swing (We called it "pumping" when I was a kid). It was approved. The patent office will approve anything.
  7. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    Don't blame microsoft, blame lawyers. Always blame lawyers..... for everything.

    I can see how lawyers within microsoft are a kind of multiplication of nastiness. But, I have seen the most ludicrous software patents proposed and accepted. eg Hashtable was renamed as a vegtable, with a file store added and a patent was granted.

    It's all stupidity, founded on lawyers. Also sponsored by folks who like products to include phrases like 'Including the wonderful Graphical User Interface technology (patent pending).' Even sponsored by 24 year old techies who fancy having a patent on their CV.

    Jonathan
    This message is patented and you may not use any of the words included without payment to me.
  8. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    I would have replied to this message, but since it is patented, I can't. Just out of curiosity, did you actually patent the words (each of them maybe?) or the message:-?
  9. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    Don't blame microsoft, blame lawyers. Always blame lawyers..... for everything.

    I can see how lawyers within microsoft are a kind of multiplication of nastiness. But, I have seen the most ludicrous software patents proposed and accepted. eg Hashtable was renamed as a vegtable, with a file store added and a patent was granted.

    It's all stupidity, founded on lawyers. Also sponsored by folks who like products to include phrases like 'Including the wonderful Graphical User Interface technology (patent pending).' Even sponsored by 24 year old techies who fancy having a patent on their CV.

    Jonathan
    This message is patented and you may not use any of the words included without payment to me.


    -so sue me :)

    Jason McKerr
  10. Let the paranoia commence[ Go to top ]

    Every letter, combination of letter, past, present and future is patented.

    Jason is sued and I am owed gazillions by every human that uses the western alphabet. Hey, if you aren't happy about it switch to Kanji. It is your choice to use my patented language after all!

    I'm in the money, I'm in the money....

    Jonathan
  11. Stifle opensource[ Go to top ]

    It's beyond "lawyerism." A known criminal not fond of opensouce is setting up the groundwork for stifling them through litigations.
  12. logic is difficult[ Go to top ]

    n n,

    "A known criminal not fond of opensouce is setting up the groundwork for stifling them through litigations"

    I am not discussing the word "criminal" here, only for the record, it’s sufficient to say that I regard Sun as 10 times more criminal..

    But it is the logic that baffles me.
    You can not:

    - on the one hand complain that if mono succeed then MS has a language on Unix that they can control (an obviously advantage; precisely the reason why Sun wanted a language on Windows they could control).

    - and on the other hand then complain that MS will sue Xmian/mono (and in doing so take away the advantage they just are about to get!)

    Where is the logic?

    But lets say as an academic exercise just suppose that MS really sues Ximian (for making an exact clean-room copy of .NET), and still more improbably win!

    Then Ximian can just go on with there own - incompatible - version, and the majority of developers would go with Open Source and say goodbye to both Java and MS.


    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  13. logic is difficult[ Go to top ]

    Rolf: "But lets say as an academic exercise just suppose that MS really sues Ximian (for making an exact clean-room copy of .NET)"

    They wouldn't have to Ximian. They could sue AT&T, or Citicorp, or Merrill Lynch, or BMW, or your company, or anyone else who used Mono. That's the problem with a software license that does not handle indemnification or do so properly & completely. No responsible person from one of these companies is going to bet that Ximian is going to defend them successfully from a lawsuit, and failing to do so that Ximian will make restitution directly to Microsoft on behalf of the company that is sued. Mono's dead when it comes to business use unless Microsoft explicitly licenses the IP or clarifies their position in such a way as to avoid any chance of a future lawsuit.

    Regarding Sun and Java, I don't know if there is an equivalent concern, but theoretically there could be. OTOH, history shows us that competing companies can play in the Java space, whereas Microsoft has never allowed that to occur in any of its core business areas. That's why there are less and less software vendors targeting the Windows-only market.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  14. "No responsible person from one of these companies is going to bet that Ximian is going to defend them successfully from a lawsuit"

    LOL.

    No amount of "lawyerism" is going to stop Mono. It will live or die by merits alone.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  15. Rolf: "No amount of "lawyerism" is going to stop Mono. It will live or die by merits alone."

    Actually, I agree.

    However, just because it "lives" does not imply that anyone will use it for non-open-source applications (e.g. enterprise apps.)

    It's going to take just one Gartner or Forrester or Meta or Giga or whatever article to point out the potential liability, and no business will ever want to touch it. Sorry.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  16. Java vs C#[ Go to top ]

    Why bother? By the 17 February next year we
    everyone will know the facit anyway.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  17. why bother?[ Go to top ]

    Why we have to bother at this point is What will we do till next year? What technology should we invest in??? That is the biggest question. I checked in Microsoft site to find out if Microsoft is ready to license its dotnet to other companies to use(like IBM,HP). Even though there are few references to other open source projects of porting dotnet to other platforms, there is nothing official from any of the Microsoft guys abt this. In my opinion Microsoft will not support other platforms and I'm clear at this point of time. I think the question is always Unix Vs Windows rather than J2EE Vs Dotnet. Dotnet might outperform J2EE in Windows environment(its my guess again).
  18. it is not Unix Vs Windows[ Go to top ]

    Karunakaran,

    I said it many times - .NET is the new windows. Soon all the office programs, middleware software and large number of enterprise business apps will run on .NET. This is a precaution from Microsoft. Should ever "lawyerism" break MS in two parts, one for operating systems and other for application software (as so many advocate) - then, then there is the one who have .NET and the Office-suit that will be interesting. Everything is prepared for this scenario. For instance in a large number of the C# examples for .NET framework there is always this "filedivider" constant ("\" or "/").

    Sun and Oracle really should try to found a lobby-community aimed at “stop MS from breaking up”, that would be in their own interest!

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  19. Please explain ...[ Go to top ]

    Where's Rolf when you need him? Can someone explain why Microsoft needs patents on all this? Is it to protect themselves from Sun and the evil McNealy? Or is it to help the Mono project? I just don't understand.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  20. Rolf Incapacitated[ Go to top ]

    Rolf is experiencing belly aches at the moment...
  21. I don't know the answer to this, but a quick search in the patent registry for "Sun Microsystems" and "Java" returned 1381 results.

    I'd say that's pretty pervasive.

    http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=0&f=S&l=50&TERM1=Sun+Microsystems&FIELD1=&co1=AND&TERM2=Java&FIELD2=&d=ptxt

    Applying for patents is not a bad thing in the sense that it maybe self protecting. However, demanding royaltees _after_ your technology becomes ubiquitous is.
  22. Prevention rather than cure[ Go to top ]

    Maybe it is time that preventative measures were put in place to foresee what the consequences of such actions will be.

    M$ will get their patent, flaunt it and people will start to say, "hey Microsoft are at it again...stop them!"

    By the time anything can be done, legally, damage is done and M$ are happy enough with the progress they have made in whatever devious plan is up their sleeve this time.

    How about make them outline reasons for and plans they have for the future as a result of the patent and make a decision wether or not to grant it then.

    Oh but then again the legal profession wont have their pay day in the end

    Looking back, if you are not paranoid about Microsoft then maybe you should be. In my opinion they cant be trusted to anything in the good faith of technological advance for all, only financial gain now and in the future for themselves.

    And before people say "thats what they are business for - to make profits..", you can do that without hurting your industry.
  23. Maybe this will teach Miguel De Icaza what happens when you sell out to the company who at the end of the day are ultimately out to eliminate Linux/Unix.

    How many companies/organizations will have to fail and people lose their jobs because they forget that when the 800 pound gorilla called Microsoft holds out an olive branch, it still doesn't change the fact that its an 800 pound gorilla
  24. I think your post was quite insulting to gorillas, many of which are very nice regardless of their weight. Of course, one should be quite wary around silverbacks!
  25. Old trick are the best[ Go to top ]

    For the record I have to say that this software patents are ridiculous, in EU you can not patent software!
    `
    But MS does not have a record of suing for patents.

    When the case is like it is MS have to protect themselves against all idiots and ambulance chasers, just like Mr. Farrell pointed out in post #73776. A company with 40 billions in cash is a free target.

    Perfectly reasonable. Anybody who want to take a bet that MS are going to sue Mono? (I would like to be rich!)

    I am a little surprised that this Anti-MS propaganda is flaming up again after a period of relatively calm. Does the Sun memo have anything to do with it? Perhaps the Sun/Java/Unix world should try to fix their own problems instead of chasing Microsoft all the time?

    "In Pricewaterhouse Coopers survey based on 1000 CEO's opinions in 20 countries, published in January, Bill Gates was ranked first as company leader - and Microsoft as the most respected company. This is in addition to another January survey which showed Microsoft as "Most Desired IT Employer of 2002."

    Compare this to:

    <If you get a list of employees in SUN, u can draw a lot of <b>Family Trees</b>. This is all because SUN hired most of the programmers thro some reference or someone who is related to one of the employees without proper screening or interviews. Not only this but most of the sales force and marketing people are also like that. They spend more time in meetings or in gym and talk abt their weekend plans more than a <b>stupid</b> JVM memory leak. <p>
    The lack of seriouness and aim to achieve higher is the main reason behind SUNs loss in last few quarters. Its like a illness which spreading across SUN>

    Attacking the opposition to hide own problems was an old trick in Soviet Union too.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  26. Re: Old trick are the best[ Go to top ]

    But MS does not have a record of suing for patents.


    <quote>
    Asked by CollabNet CTO Brian Behlendorf whether Microsoft will enforce its patents against open source projects, Mundie replied, "Yes, absolutely." An audience member pointed out that many open source projects aren't funded and so can't afford legal representation to rival Microsoft's. "Oh well," said Mundie. "Get your money, and let's go to court."
    </quote>

    Microsoft has earned the "Anti-MS" attutudes people have in spades. If you would like to close your eyes to history, that's okay with me. But do not criticise us for having a memory.
  27. Old trick are the best[ Go to top ]

    It's funny that you should mention old soviet tricks especially since Microsoft is not above using them as well, cases in point...

    Linux - well if MS is not guilty of propoganda here then why don't you give me the money you made when you get rich from your bets.

    Java - .Net is hardly revolutionary, and is pretty much a new spin on concepts that have been in the industry for ages, If MS can claim that java is yesterday's news then so is .Net!!!


    Doesn't it strike you as odd that after endorsing Mono which is an Open Source project and Open Source being the single largest threat to MS' 40Bn$, that they are raising the issue of patents, if mono becomes popular and a large portion of Unix/Linux software is written on it Microsoft would effectively have a large degree of leverage over that software

    And finally just remember the calliber of some of the people that Sun has in their Employ, Im sure that the likes of James Gosling, Bill Joy, Bob Gingell would get a little upset if you told them that they are not serious about what they do.

    As for the Sun/Java/Unix world's problems I have this to say: "It takes a .Net programmer to do it quickly, but it takes a Java programmer to do it properly" :-)
  28. "Different mindsets"[ Go to top ]

    "It takes a .Net programmer to do it quickly, but it takes a Java programmer to do it properly"

    Continued:

    Don't send a .Net developer to do a java job.
    Don't send a java developer to do a .Net job.
  29. Since the beginning[ Go to top ]

    Isnt it true that M$ is founded on stolen/aquired ideas from other sources.

    From DOS to .NET

    "Seek good ideas, adopt and adapt them, pass it off as M$ brainchild, blow the original creators out of the water"

    The approach has done well for M$. So why do they continue to do it...because they can.
  30. Does it really surprise anyone?[ Go to top ]

    Why would Microsoft allow applications written in .NET to be ported over to Linux? That goes against everything Microsoft is about. They offer a proprietary solution in their integrated environment - that is how they make money. Why would they allow Mono to exist? So that people paying $$$ to Microsoft could one day turn around and decide to port everything to Linux and not pay Microsoft a penny?

    I'm not MS bashing here - its just look like a smart business move to crush all .NET clones.
  31. Old trick are the best[ Go to top ]

    Attacking the opposition to hide own problems was an old trick in Soviet Union too.


    Rolf, given that your entire life seems to be dedicated to attacking the opposition, is there something you'd like to share with the group?

    > But MS does not have a record of suing for patents.

    Microsoft has been tried and convicted of abusing their monopoly power to destroy anyone they see as competitors.

    It is widely accepted (and admitted by Microsoft in internal documents) that they embrace standards only in order to capture market share and then extend the standards with proprietary addons so that competing products no longer comply.

    Now, in this case, you may be right, they may just be defensive patents that they are planning to release Royalty-Free. With so many other ways to undermine the competition, I'm sure Microsoft would only use patents as a last resort.
  32. a little feather[ Go to top ]

    <jamie mccrindle>Microsoft has been tried and convicted of abusing their monopoly power to destroy anyone they see as competitors.</jamie mccrindle>

    Hmm.

    "The Department of Justice has not formally alleged that Microsoft is breaking any antitrust law. Instead, Justice claims that Microsoft is violating its 1995 settlement of an earlier, untried antitrust suit."

    You should rean the little story by H.C. Andersen which ended,
    "One thing is certain: a little feather can be enough for five hens."

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  33. a little feather[ Go to top ]

    <i>"The Department of Justice has not formally alleged that Microsoft is breaking any antitrust law. Instead, Justice claims that Microsoft is violating its 1995 settlement of an earlier, untried antitrust suit." </i>

    Rolf, just because you surround something in quotes doesn't mean it's true. A reference (like this one is what you need, or perhaps one like this which even contains the line "Microsoft was convicted of illegally abusing its powers as a monopoly in the PC operating system market.").
  34. a little feather[ Go to top ]

    Jamie: "Rolf, just because you surround something in quotes doesn't mean it's true. A reference (like this one is what you need, or perhaps one like this which even contains the line "Microsoft was convicted of illegally abusing its powers as a monopoly in the PC operating system market.")."

    Jamie, facts have absolutely no place in this discussion.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!

    p.s. </sarcasm>
  35. finally agreement[ Go to top ]

    Cameron,

    "facts have absolutely no place in this discussion"

    Precisely Cameron, you are right, at last we agree on something!

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  36. language studies[ Go to top ]

    Need assistance!

    I am trying to better my English Cameron - could you please help?

    I am envious
    You are envious
    He and she is envious
    They are envious
    nosotros - no that was spanish!

    Ambition is what counts!

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  37. language studies[ Go to top ]

    Terminat hora diem,
    Terminat author opus.

    (Pace.)
  38. For the record I have to say that this software patents are ridiculous, in EU you can not patent software!


    Oh yes you can. The UK patent office has issued 30,000+ tware patents and the German office more. Most EU member states either allow software patents or are about to.
  39. Good news for J2EE[ Go to top ]

    It remands me what happened for IBM. IBM was the inventor of Personal Computer. IBM made the architecture of PC open (good) and invited third parties to support it. It happened, so PC became popular. Then IBM developed micro channel architect and patented it, hopping to be the monopoly. At that time, some people said IBM had power and would make its way. But at the end, few went with IBM and micro channel died. Today, IBM is a small player in PC world.

    I think most of people will go with J2EE.

    Perfecting J2EE!
  40. Oil And Water[ Go to top ]

    Opensource and Dot Net are like Oil and Water when schemes like this are implemented. We have seen these types of tactics (SGI, Novell, Borland, Sidekick, Netscape, Realplayer, BEOS, Linux, Lotus, DRDOS, GEOS, etc.), since Microsoft's inception.


    The drones of Dot Net will surely discover their tasty little morsels are laced with boric acid. Queen Ant (Corporate America) watch your ass.
  41. The good part: it forces alternatives.
  42. It would seem to me after reading the patent application (not that I'm anywhere near to being a legal expert), that the works described in the patent would apply to any API such as Java, or any distribution technology such as RPC, sockets, RMI, CORBA, etc.

    Surely a patent application this broad would have difficulty getting approved? But then again this is the patent office which brought us the "1-click" patent.

    Also, I would think that Sun, the Smalltalk community, and other groups out there would be raising arms since in all fairness, Microsoft borrowed most of the .NET platform from other areas. Except for the package names, a lot of the same classes, operations, and bugs exist in both the .NET library and the standard Java library.
  43. JESI, BPEL... Microsoft Patent .NET APIs[ Go to top ]

    Does this patent close any doors for the J2EE community?

    It practicly nails JSR 128, JESI - JSP Tag Library for Edge Side Includes. And since JESI hasn't yet a reference implementation, J2EE might lack claim to prior art.

    It's Micro$oft's BPEL tantrum all over again. What a loser!
  44. Bruce Perens, August 2001[ Go to top ]

    Bruce Perens spoke like a true visionary in August 2001
  45. Mono Doomed?[ Go to top ]

    http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='20030028685'.PGNR.&OS=DN/20030028685&RS=DN/20030028685

    “
    [025]
    … Each disc stores a compiled HTML help file identifying the API (application program interface) for Microsoft's .NET.TM. network platform. The file is named "cpref.chm" and was created on Jun. 8, 2001…”


    The above caption corresponds to http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/cpref/, which is Microsoft’s framework interface.

    How will XIMIAN continue with MONO if implementing the interfaces is illegal???
  46. an educated guess[ Go to top ]

    The most important reason that Mono can go on with their work is that -MS wants it-. They believe (right or wrong) that they always can stay ahead and "out-innovate" open source. So, in the ideal world seen from MS eyes is that there is one MS version and one Unix version -but the Unix version will always stay behind and only contain 75-80% of the official version.

    So, if you want cross-platform compatibility, you just keep to the Mono classes. It should not be a problem as there is thousands of classes.

    On the other hand, if you want to be on "the bleeding edge" (not a wise decision in most cases) then you can use the .NET classes and limit yourself to Windows platform.

    Just an educated guess of course. But that would be an ideal situation for MS.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  47. Uhh ...[ Go to top ]

    n n: "How will XIMIAN continue with MONO if implementing the interfaces is illegal???"

    Uh ... who cares?

    If you're using .NET, you're most probably running on Windows using Microsoft tools and the Microsoft CLR.

    If you're not buying onto that product, then you're probably part of the overwhelming majority of the market using Java or J2EE.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  48. Big Question[ Go to top ]

    I have seen many dotnet developers touting dotnet opensource projects. My driving point is if this can happen to MONO, what about "other" opensource projects for DOTNET?

    That's the big question.
  49. what shall we do?[ Go to top ]

    Yes, we are shivering with fright and fear!
  50. Depends[ Go to top ]

    "CONCLUSION

    [0101] Although the invention has been described in language specific to structural ii features and/or methodological acts, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or acts described. Rather, the specific features and acts are disclosed as exemplary forms of implementing the claimed invention. "


    Rolf,

      Invest in a monthly supply of depends. It's beyond shivering.
  51. laid back style is recommended[ Go to top ]

    Dear n n,

    You must be a very nervous person! Even if this stupid patent(s) is approved it is just another worthless addition to MS portfolio just like Suns and IBMs (20.000+) more or less worthless patents. There is a site for these funny patents I don't remember the address but I am sure you can find it. Go there and laugh and relax.

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  52. Here Comes The Blue Bloods[ Go to top ]

    Something else to shiver about Rolf. This time they may get their rear end handed to them. Bush won't be able to help them this time.
     


    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/02/11/1044927601022.html
  53. Trick question[ Go to top ]

    n n,

    I have some homework for you!

    Let us say that MS is divided into two (or more) companies.

    Can you do the analysis:
    "Is that good or bad for the Java/Sun/Unix world?"

    Solution coming tomorrow..

    Regards
    Rolf Tollerud
  54. Same bat time, Same bat channel[ Go to top ]

    Rolf: "Solution coming tomorrow.."

    All we alike await the inevitable hour ...
  55. Hello,
    I have a few things to add.

    Few days back I remember reading abt Java and J2EE architecture

    1. How sun initially proposed it Java technology as part of ISO standard and then withdrew and then tried making it part of ECMA standard and then withdrew from that as well. One of the fear for sun was that any one can make suggestions to that standard and Sun will have no control over the standard. Finally SUN started JCP, its own community for Java and J2EE,which may be valid since SUN can't make money without holding the standard of java and J2EE.
     

    so one of the question how is this patenting dotnet different from Java technology???

    Java is available in other platforms as well. That is because Sun has licensed the java technology to other companies like IBM,BEA,etc,etc.

    Similarly it is possible for microsoft as well to license the dotnet technology to other companies as well (which i'm not seeing right now), if they want dotnet to run in other platforms.

    Microsoft will be crazy if they think that their server is best one and all dotnet will only run in Windows. They will definitely be left alone.

    Thanks
    Karuna
  56. Yes, true, Sun controls java.
    But Java is tied to any operating system.it works very well with most of the OS.
    Yes, JCP is controlled by sun. But it takes input by many companies like IBM.

    I dont expect MS to open .NET to any one else. even if it is not going to run in linux or any unix based system.
    The core point is, Microsoft is based on Windows. Windows is the cash cow.not the .NET.

    Remember, they have introduced .NET only to avoid customers switching over to other operating system, and using java.

    .NET is to help Windows. not the other way around.
  57. That's true in the case of Sun as well i.e Sun makes more money in selling Solaris than what it makes out of selling Java Applications(App servers), but the good thing is Sun has allowed other companies to license the technology and use it. My guess is that Microsoft may do that with HP since HP is one of the companies(the other being Intel) to submit the C# and CLI to ECMA and ISO. Also HP is adopting open architecture for its HP-UX by using Itanium servers from Intel. As such there is no commitment from Microsoft. We will have to wait and see. Dotnet, tied to Windows is one of the serious limitation for Dotnet and it can no way be an advantage for windows.
  58. In this interview, Miguel de Icaza, the founder of GNOME and Ximian, talks about UNIX components, Bonobo, Mono, and Microsoft .NET. (6 printed pages)

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dndotnet/html/deicazainterview.asp

    Dare Obasanjo:

    There have been conflicting reports about Ximian's relationship with Microsoft. On one hand there are reports that seem to indicate that there may be licensing problems between the license that will govern .NET and the GPL. On the other hand there is an indication that some within Microsoft are enthusiastic about Mono. So exactly what is Ximian's current relationship with Microsoft and what will be done to ensure that Mono does not violate Microsoft's licenses on .NET if they turn out to be restrictive?

    Miguel de Icaza:

    Well, for one we are writing everything from scratch.

    We are trying to stay on the safe side regarding patents. That means that we implement things in a way that has been used in the past and we are not doing tremendously elaborate or efficient things in Mono yet. We are still very far from that. But just using existing technologies and techniques.

    Dare Obasanjo:

    It has been pointed out that Sun retracted Java from standards processes at least twice, will the Mono project continue if .NET stops being an open standard for any reason?

    Miguel de Icaza:

    The upgrade on our development platform has a value independently of whether it is a standard or not. The fact that Microsoft has submitted its specifications to a standards body has helped, since people who know about these problems have looked at the problem and can pinpoint problems for interoperability.

    Dare Obasanjo:

    Similarly what happens if Dan Kusnetzky's prediction comes true and Microsoft changes the .NET APIs in the future? Will the Mono project play catch up or will it become an incompatible implementation of .NET on UNIX platforms?

    Miguel de Icaza:

    Microsoft is remarkably good at keeping their APIs backwards compatible (and this is one of the reasons I think they have had so much success as a platform vendor). So I think that this would not be a problem.

    Now, even if this was a problem, it is always possible to have multiple implementations of the same APIs and use the correct one by choosing at run time the proper "assembly". Assemblies are a new way of dealing with software bundles and the files that are part of an assembly can be cryptographically checksummed and their APIs programmatically tested for compatibility. [Dare—See the description of assemblies from the .NET Framework Glossary.]

    So even if they deviate from the initial release, it would be possible to provide assemblies that are backwards compatible (we can both do that: Microsoft and ourselves)
  59. Ignorance[ Go to top ]

    Miguel de Icaza:

    "Microsoft is remarkably good at keeping their APIs backwards compatible (and this is one of the reasons I think they have had so much success as a platform vendor). So I think that this would not be a problem." - Miguel de Icaza

    I've come to the conclusion Miguel never developed in a Window's environment.

    <showing my battle wounds>

    For starters he should read up on the history of OLE, BIOS Calls, TSR Programs, etc.
  60. Also HP is adopting open architecture for its HP-UX by using Itanium servers from Intel.


    What part of that is "open architecture"?
  61. What i said abt HP's adoption may be irrelevant(as I have already mentioned that it was my guess). HP is going to abandon its RA-RISC processors from 2006 and its version of Unix will only have Itanium processors from Intel(Itanium was co-designed by HP and Intel). Usually Unix servers come with own propritery hardware and processor.
  62. proprietary[ Go to top ]

    Karunakaran: "HP is going to abandon its RA-RISC processors from 2006 and its version of Unix will only have Itanium processors from Intel(Itanium was co-designed by HP and Intel). Usually Unix servers come with own propritery hardware and processor."

    Yes, HP has already abandoned its PA RISC architecture for the most part (and equally its Alpha architecture that it acquired from Compaq which in turn had acquired it from DEC.)

    However, Itanium is as proprietary as PA RISC, n'est pas?

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy
    Tangosol, Inc.
    Coherence: Easily share live data across a cluster!
  63. Two futures for patents[ Go to top ]

    The whole software patent situation is interesting. Here's two possible outcomes (out of many):

    1) More and more software patents are granted with ever increasing and conflicting needs. Having software patents then becomes a necessary defensive measure for any software company (not just the big guys).

    The costs of obtaining and defending patents rise, raising the barrier of entry to new and small enterprises and individuals. Basically it becomes finally impossible for lone individuals and small groups to realistically sell their own software. This pushes some of them more into open-source developments and others to sell their IP or a commission to organisations in return for protection, promotions and sales services.

    Open source developments are then attacked by patent holders by going after the few key individuals driving each project. Those projects that aren't behind the protection of a well-funded foundation (like Apache) wither and die.

    Software development becomes more and more the preserve of large organisation. Progress slows as a result and the industry settles into a "traditional" format - monopolies and multinationals rule the scene. Innovators move on to other industries where the opportunities are greater.

    2) Governments wake up to the patents situation and actually stop assuming that patents are good and realise the paradox in saying "well naturally we should patent software, but business methods [in the EU], mathematical algorithms and artistic endeavour should be patent free".

    The standards for proving patent claims are raised, the scope and form of claims reduced, and a general principle of prior art established. Existing software patents are granted a maximum 3-5 year lifespan. The costs of obtaining and defending a patent drop tenfold.

    Businesses realise that innovation and quality of service are the key to sales success and ditch large patent portfolios. Software maintains its small groups and hobbyist roots for a long time to come.


    I favour (2) but reckon (1) is far more likely. In fact it is already happening with companies setting up just to make money from patent portfolios.

    It is fascinating to me that these large companies and governments who claim to represent the capitalist ideal of free markets and open competition seek more and more to apply protectionisms and monopoly-preserving mechanisms like software patents. That said, you can hardly blame the companies for following the herd.

    In fact, the whole idea of "patenting" an invention or application of an idea seems ridiculous to me. I think it amounts to a form of Orwellian thought-control and evokes shades of Communism. What happened to working for a living and getting success through providing a better product or service than the competition? Copyright and trademark protection prevent blantant abuse. If someone comes along and does a better job than you why should you be able to cry "patents" and have them squashed?

    There's never been any good evidence that patents do a damn thing to promote innovation, just a bunch of vested interests and large corporations claiming they wouldn't innovate without patent protection. Are they kidding? Of course they'd innovate - they'd have to innovate harder to cope with the increased competition that would result from no longer being able to hide behind patents.

    As part of a recent focus group, I asked the UK patent office what evidence they had that patents are effective. The answer was that the industry bodies tell them that they are good. Since these bodies are dominated by large corporates I didn't find that reassuring.
  64. So what[ Go to top ]

    I am sure there is a patent on Java and Sun's JDK.
  65. Re: So what[ Go to top ]

    Probably lots. Doesn't change my points (I wasn't claiming Java is patent free).
  66. I'm sure Sun didn't submit the whole Java class framework helpfile.


    ha