[Mono-list] Re: Sleepless at Patentland...

Miguel de Icaza miguel@ximian.com
09 Aug 2001 14:08:47 -0400

>   I've read the article you pointed. But the problem I'm still worried is 
> about NOT KNOWING which patents we have to avoid.

And Rafael, as I said, this is not a Mono/C#/Microsoft issue.  It is a
larger problem.

How can you work around things?  Well, whenever you are implementing
something new, you go and check for example if this has existed

You give one example: System.Reflection.Emit.  I know the concept is
very old and has been used in other systems in the past.  So I went
and checked Google and figured `Java probably has that', so I entered
`generating code reflection api' and I got a web page that documents a
1999 technology that did exactly that for Java (some developed by
GNU, Kawa includes such a beast).

Do the same for smalltalk and you will get more references.  So what
we have done here is that we have found `prior art' for this specific

I am not a lawyer, and I will not play one.  If you feel unconfortable
working on Mono because of this issue you could help us researching
things in .NET that could look patentable and find prior art for it.

That would be a very good contribution.  

You can find examples (just like you did with Reflection.Emit) and go
find prior art (google does wonders).    That could be your
contribution to Mono. 

I am interested in writing code, and improving the development
platform for Unix.

Even if you do not implement the CLR/CLI/C#/whatever and you do "your
own", you might also infringe on their patents (bogus or not).  So
making a "different" system to avoid infringing on patents is not
solving the problem at all.

So we have a couple of options:

	* Do nothing, Stop Coding.

	* Actively implement the CLI, and find evidence of prior art. 

I am doing the later.