5 thoughts on “Welcome back, Slashdot.

  1. Pingback: Anonymous

  2. Tim Hall

    What is the deal with that patent, id love to hear your/MS’s side of why its Patent worthy (assuming MS will let you tell us).

    I cant see how its really an invention, just a syntactial shortcut, i could use a templating addin (like DevExpress’s CodeRush) to add similar IsNot functionality to .Net 2003.

    I doubt it would be possible to determine who really owns the idea of an IsNot keyword, considering ive wanted one for years and im sure that other people have wanted it for longer than i have. Although i dont really understand how the US patent system actually works, so maybe thats irrelevant.

    MS seems to have a track record of patenting or at least trying to patent the most absurd things, its getting very scary.

    I think us loyal VB programmers deserve an explination, maybe its just my whole anti software patent idealism talking, but it offends me that my favorite language is going to the extreme of patenting keywords.

    PS. When is that next installment of Default Instances coming up ?


  3. Joel Spolsky

    Paul you really should be ashamed of yourself… not just for absuing the USPTO, but for wasting so much Microsoft money, time, and resources filing a patent which has no chance of standing up either on obviousness or on prior art.

  4. Tim Hall

    Thanks Karl, that must have been before i started reading pauls blog.

    I agree there is huge a issue with everyone abusingt he patent system, that can force ones hand into stooping to that level, but I think the movie wargames says this best "The only wining move is to not play". What i wouldnt give for the patent office to just hit the delete button on all the software patents.

    I think what we need is an anti-patent system (or not even a system realy, just a check box on existing applications would do), in which you can apply for a patent that only stops other people from patenting it, but provides no way to sue other people for using the patent.

    Paul, for what its worth, im sorry you were put in that position, it would be nice if i could trust microsoft to never use the patent to attack a competitor, but a company needs to earn that trust, and MS hasnt done that yet.


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