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Re: [DotGNU]Re: the .NET API patent issue

From: Rhys Weatherley
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Re: the .NET API patent issue
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 2003 10:26:30 +1000
User-agent: KMail/1.4.3

On Friday 10 October 2003 08:48 pm, Marcus wrote:
> So US citizens are not welcome to assist to Pnet?

Certainly they are.  There are plenty of things that are outside the scope of 
patents or potential patents.  All of ECMA, for a start.  The non-Winforms 
GUI toolkits (Qt#, Gtk#, Xsharp, etc).  The C compiler and its support 
routines.  JVM backends.  And much, much, more.

I feel that it is best that DotGNU take a two-pronged approach to patent 

The first prong is to build all of the MS API's, using stock-standard, 
non-tricky algorithms.  This is needed for compatibility and for migrating 
Windows programmers away from dependence upon Microsoft's .NET 

During this, all major features will be marked up with #if's in the code.  The 
#if's are primarily for stripping the size of the system down for embedded 
platforms.  But they are also useful should Microsoft take issue with some 
feature - the #if's will tell us exactly what code to remove upon reception 
of a cease-and-desist.

The second prong is to develop completely different ways of doing similar 
things.  e.g. DGEE instead of ASP.NET, MACS instead of Passport, Qt#/Gtk# 
instead of Winforms, etc.  Any core functionality that DotGNU requires should 
be rooted in ECMA-only API's (e.g. Xsharp works just fine in ECMA_COMPAT mode 
because it avoids non-ECMA API's).

Norbert's message primarily refers to the second prong, but some people seem 
to think that we should cease the first prong.  We shouldn't.  Absent a cease 
and desist letter, we should keep moving along, making contingency plans but 
otherwise not letting Microsoft scare us.



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