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Re: Place under sun (was: XPointer and Sun patent)

    I would like to add to Uche's comment - using format-number as an
example - of what is going on in the application development field.
Prior versions of MSXML (i.e. "bad", "proprietary", etc. ones up to 2.6)
implemented formatNumber function in their scripting extensions. It would
give developers complete power of "Java" syntax + real power of formats used
by application developers - currency and accounting formats, data/time
masks, embedded "conditional" formats. This masks are common for VisualBasic
and PoweBuilder communities (to name a few)  and represent major portion of
applications developed in the last 10 years. The task of conversion of these
applications was very simple and straightforward - just convert all your
forms and reports to metadata, create XSL stylesheet out of it = and you
have most of your application on Web using XSL transform for the
    Current Microsoft's compliance with W3C recommendations means that for
the real world applications we have to reimplement Microsoft's,
PowerBuilder's formatting (together  with the most of run-time) on our own.
It levels the field in favor of much smaller Java community while destroying
any attempt to migrate to the new platform in favor of complete rewrite. In
the process, developers
have to rewrite real-world runtimes ( i.e. PowerBuilder, VB, etc. ) in Java
"Binding" issue is the key to many current and future applications and
ability for developers to be productive and creative rather then play
catch-up game benefiting standards providers.

Anatole Tartakovsky

--------------Original thread
> 3. The JDK 1.1 specification is copyrighted by Sun.
> However, implementing a process described by a copyrighted document does
> not require the permission of the copyright holder. That's what patents
> are all about: if the JDK number formatting was patented, there would be
> a problem. You would only violate Sun's copyright if you copied the
> specification.
> (In the case of a Java interface, in order to implement the interface
> you need to create a .java file, which would arguably be a copy of part
> of the specification.  No such situation arises with XSLT number
> formatting.)

OK.  I'll leave the legal issues to others.  However, since one of the
XSLT editors has shown up on this thread, can I ask about the technical
issues?  Why did the WG subjected non-Java implementors to this nonsense?

There are many more widely used and implemented methods of specifying
number formatting, such as *printf.

Why so much trouble to specify one sort of output formatting?  If XSLT
wanted to concern itself with low-level string representational details,
why not have a general-purpose system for the task?

If it was to provide a crutch to Java's poor string manipulation and
formatting facilities, why was this not left to extennsion writers?

> Note that Microsoft has implemented format-number, which I doubt it
> would have done if its lawyers thought it needed permission from Sun to
> do so.

How nice for Microsoft.  They have the developers to spare on an
pointless exercise.  Not all of us do.

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +1 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com
4735 East Walnut St, Ste. C, Boulder, CO 80301-2537, USA
Software-engineering, knowledge-management, XML, CORBA, Linux, Python