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From Conor MacNeill <co...@cortexebusiness.com.au>
Subject Re: Microsoft patents XML based script automation?
Date Fri, 13 Feb 2004 07:28:15 GMT
On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 01:19:40 -0500, Noel J. Bergman <noel@devtech.com> 
wrote:

>
> See: http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3312091
>
> Patent:
> http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtm
> l/search-adv.htm&r=9&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=ptxt&S1=Microsoft.ASNM.&OS=AN/Microsoft&
> RS=AN/Microsoft
>
> Does anyone have any idea how this would effect Ant, Maven, Jelly, JSP 
> and
> other technologies that use XML to describe scripting?
>
> For that matter, would James' use of XML to configure matchers and 
> mailets
> into a mail application be considered scripting?  We have posted 
> examples of
> using Sieve scripts within an XML CDATA block.

It is hard to see Ant being affected as its publication precedes the 
filing date for the patent, if that is relevant. Not sure about the other 
projects.

The patent seems pretty silly to me. I would argue that it fails even the 
most basic novelty test for a patent, but IANAL, of course. Also the 
patent seems to be narrowly focused as it mainly seems to cover "a method 
for facilitating the identification and selection of the one or more 
scripts for execution" IOW, collecting scripts into an XML file as opposed 
to using XML as a scripting system.

Ant's <script> task, however, would seem to be in the same ballpark - a 
system for having scripts in different languages in an XML file (in this 
case an Ant build file). The original CVS commit for the script task was

Revision 1.1 - (download), view (text) (markup) (annotate) - [select for 
diffs]
Sun Mar 19 03:35:48 2000 UTC (3 years, 10 months ago) by rubys

which also precedes the filing date for the patent so I guess that might 
qualify as prior art. Who knows?

Conor

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