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RE: (Second) Last Call for XPointer 1.0

The W3C differs because of its role as a specification 
owner and technology incubator.  In simple terms, "from 
those who have more, more is expected."   They are the 
authority.  They have the knowledge.  Unlike the patent 
office which uses incompetence as the excuse, I don't 
think the W3C gets off the hook that easily.  They are 
not an industry: they are an industry representative. 
They can ask a very large community any time they 
need to answer a question.  The patent office doesn't 
query the internet although it might not be a bad idea.

If it only clobbers HTML, then it becomes a force 
to move us toward XML+stylesheets and away from a 
single downtranslation target.  Would you consider a 
strategy that says, HTML is targeted for extinction 
by environmental pressure from the patent office and Sun?
I doubt it but that is a potential outcome if we 

a) need XPointer
b) are uncomfortable with the agreeement

B may be up for grabs, but we won't abandon fragment 
based addressing.   We could kiss off XPointer and 
use another spec, or just agree to ignore the patent 
and perhaps boycott Sun products until they relent. 
Again, pitchforks, torches and a mob are not the kind 
of rule of law one prefers, but sometimes effective 
given a monster in the mill and a policemen with 
one wooden arm.  

As for the patent office excuse, I agree, but Daniel, 
with all the power and money in the world, we haven't 
figured out how to count votes in this country.  Don't 
think we aren't embarassed by it.  On the other hand, 
information theory says nothing we try will fix that 
problem.  Noisy systems can't reliably resolve binary 
decisions without external controls.   In this case, 
the patent office and the W3C might want to have a 
relationship of mutual information sources when 
the competence of one can be trusted to resolve the 
lack of information of another.


Ekam sat.h, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti.
Daamyata. Datta. Dayadhvam.h

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Veillard [mailto:Daniel.Veillard@imag.fr]
Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2001 11:21 AM
To: Bullard, Claude L (Len)
Cc: Daniel.Veillard@imag.fr; Jonathan Borden; Elliotte Rusty Harold;
Subject: Re: (Second) Last Call for XPointer 1.0

On Thu, Jan 11, 2001 at 10:49:41AM -0600, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
> Frankly, it may be a case as Trafford says where 
> the industry ignores the patent rather than going 
> to the trouble and expense of contesting it. The 
> W3C may not be able to ignore it.  The result is 
> the same:  XPointer is DOA.

  Why should W3C differ from the industry in this
case ? If everybody consider the claim invalid,
why should it be W3C which would go through the
expensive action of fighting it if the patent itself
if moot ?

> The next problem would be, can everyone live with 
> ignoring XPointer or Sun or both?

  As a free software implementor, I read Sun's terms
and while I disagree with the fact that they were granted
this patent, their condition were fine by me. It is
very clear that they cannot sue me for my libxml XPointer
  You may have others needs, but for XPointer implementation
itself the term emitted by sun were fine. What point is
blocking you ?

  Now, if you want to implement something different than
XPointer you may have issues with Sun's patent, but this
must not block XPointer, right ?

  Now one third way would be to have a legal advice on
whether the patent would *actually* cover any XML resource.
The wording excerpt which was propagated here clearly stated
that the claim was linked to HTML usage. And XPointer do not
target HTML, so is this whole story moot because it's a non
problem ?

  Is defining a fragment identifier syntax able to locate
string in a markup based resource something we have to forget
about until this Patent expires ? If this is the conclusion of
this discussion, this is depressing !!! (and sorry there is
*no* excuses to the current policy of the Patent Office,
as Alan Cox puts it:
  "Selling Monopoly right to Common Sense for 25 Years"
http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/geekgod-cox-largeview.jpg ).