[Mono-list] Re: [DotGNU]Re: Collaboration on alternatives to the US-patent-endangered APIs?

Norbert Bollow nb@SoftwareEconomics.biz
Wed, 15 Oct 2003 02:56:20 +0200 (CEST)

Hash: SHA1

Ben Maurer <bmaurer@users.sourceforge.net> wrote:

> Given that Miguel currently believes that none of the API is patentable,
> and that the only evidence you have given him to the contrary is `we
> have looked at this api, and it looks like a really thin wrapper' is
> really not much

Far be it from me to produce any arguments in favor of *anything*
being patentable! :-)

My position is "very likely none of the API is patentable, but the
danger is still big enough that it should be addressed from a risk
management perspective".  The example of SWF (System.Windows.Forms)
was meant as a clarification that the "alternative API" efforts do
not need to cover all of the non-ECMA parts of .NET because even if
the "none of the API is patentable" belief doesn't work out, it will
still be possible to defend our use of at least some non-ECMA parts
of the API due to similarity with older APIs.

(The SWF example has some significance even though of course there are
already alternative GUI APIs, as it means that someone who agrees with
our risk assessment can use System.Windows.Forms without need to
include support for an alternative GUI toolkit as a risk-management

> I am *sure* that given the number of hours you guys have spent on this
> you could provide a small report on your findings, even if we choose not
> to go down the path of collaboration, they would still be useful
> findings to show to the community.

I agree that it will be good to freely show to the entire community
all information which can be published with reasonable effort and
without negative impact on our legal position (giving too many details
is probably not wise as that would give the potential opponent too much
information about where there might be weaknesses in our understanding
and our strategy.)

I am working on an article with this objective; the current status is
that it is about half written, and when I've finished it, it'll be sent
to a lawyer for review before I will publish it.  The focus is on
DotGNU's perspective but naturally some parts of the analysis may also
be of interest to the Mono project.  If desired, I can post an URL to
this list when the article is available.

I had written:

> > my attempt of establishing cooperation had already failed... you
> > are right that in the following conversation, Rhys did not really
> > express interest in genuine cooperation, but neither did Miguel.

Ben Maurer <bmaurer@users.sourceforge.net> replied:

> Thats not true!

Well when the response to a proposal of collaboration contains
an accusation of intellectual dishonesty, and the accusation
isn't withdrawn, it does not matter to me how many words are
made, I will not think of the response as something that
expresses genuine interest in cooperation.

(Maybe Miguel would be interested in collaboration with Rhys in
the area of alternative APIs, however Rhys is busy working on
other parts of the DotGNU efforts, and he does not want to get
distracted from that.  I would have been the person with whom
collaboration in the "alternative APIs" area would have to be
discussed, and the email with the "intellectual dishonesty"
accusation was directed at me.)

Greetings, Norbert.

- -- 
Founder & Steering Committee member of http://gnu.org/projects/dotgnu/
Free Software Business Strategy Guide   --->  http://FreeStrategy.info
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59        Fax +41 1 972 20 69       http://norbert.ch
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