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Re: [Mono-list] Re: [DotGNU]Re: Collaboration on alternatives to the US

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [Mono-list] Re: [DotGNU]Re: Collaboration on alternatives to the US-patent-endangered APIs?
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 03:47:15 +0200 (CEST)

Hash: SHA1

address@hidden wrote:

> Why would one choose to alter an API? Even if it is patented by MS?

If it is patented by MS, and the patent turns out to be enforcable
(we consider it to be pretty unlikely, but alas possible that this
may be case for *part* of the non-ECMA .NET APIs), then MS can use
the patent to enforce a monopoly that in the US, only Microsoft's
.NET can implement that API.

If that should happen, application programs which use those patented
APIs can suddenly be legally used only on MS Windows (this legal
problem would affect computer users in the US only), even if the
program was written with the intention of portability (so that it can
be used with DotGNU on GNU/Linux as well as Solaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD,
OpenBSD, MacOS X, and MS Windows).

Monopolistic lock-in !

That kind of situation would be bad enough that RMS and I think that
avoiding the possibility of this kind of situation (however unlikely
it may be) makes the effort of designing and implementing alternative
APIs appear worthwhile.

Of course, while it is felt that an effort to design an alternative
API is needed primarily for these "freedom fighter" reasons, it'll
be a nice bonus if DotGNU can do a better job at API design than
Microsoft did!

Greetings, Norbert.

- -- 
Founder & Steering Committee member of
Free Software Business Strategy Guide   --->
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59        Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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