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   RE: [xml-dev] New W3C Patent Practice

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Would the web be there if DoD hadn't 
let its work be commercialized?

Would that have happened if DARPA hadn't 
sponsored Mosaic or James Clark (the other one) 
hadn't financed MARCA, or CERN hadn't paid 
for TimBL's place beneath the steampipe?  

I give credit to Doug Englebart, and he 
read Vannevar Bush.  Bush was just trying 
to keep up with too much paperwork during a 
world war and never got around to getting 
it built.  DARPA was looking for a way to 
keep on making war after a blowout, and Bolt 
Beranek and Neuman got the contract, and their 
first customer was Doug Englebart.  

It's never one individual, but they matter, yes they do.

I live on the same planet.  I just keep up 
with the details of history better than you 
because otherwise, I learn the wrong things. 
It was driven by multiple forces, some individual, 
some well organized and well-financed. You would 
still be futzing with OpenText if Goldfarb Mosher 
and Lorie hadn't been asked by their well-financed 
company IBM, to work out their problems of too much 
paperwork.  I suspect overwork is a source of 
much innovation.

I like the draft too.  It is the outcome I 
campaigned for over "no non-RF ever" because 
historically, that made no sense.  Unless they 
have some room to maneuver, they create too much 
paperwork and a patented but ubiquitous product 
gets the cookies:  say PDF, say parts of SVG, 
say parts of VoiceXML but not SGML and therefore, 
not XML.  As for the voices raised, again, a foolproof 
system can always be overcome by well-connected fools.

And who shall judge?  Individuals who choose the means to choose the means, then 
enable by abstraction, a common assent to a common language, and then leave to 
others that which is too tedious to do alone and too costly to own otherwise. 
"Of the people, by the people, for the people", lest governance be unable to 
govern itself. (paraphrasing James Madison).


-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Bray [mailto:tbray@textuality.com]
Sent: Friday, January 25, 2002 3:11 PM
To: xml-dev@lists.xml.org
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] New W3C Patent Practice

At 01:25 PM 25/01/02 -0600, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>  The idea that the web has been 
>driven by open source or individuals is largely 
>an illusion of our own making much again like 
>those investment bankers working hard with 
>the press to make the public assume all the 
>risk for investments which were flakey from 
>the get-go while they made unreasonable profits.

Really, Len.  If you think the web would have happened without 
the CERN & NCSA httpd's, or perl, or Mosaic, or libgd, lynx, or 
the efforts of TimBL and Marca and the other backroom noncommercial 
guys, you're not looking at the same planet I am.  

It wouldn't have happened without open source and it wouldn't
have happened if the implementors had had to pay for the
right to implement.  For this reasons, it won't happen
for VoiceXML unless they get that spec unencumbered PDQ.

I like the draft.  It makes it pretty clear that if a 
W3C effort wants to start down a RAND road, there's no
rule saying it can't, but that the risks of doing so are
very high because it certain that many voices of them,
some in influential positions, will be raised against it. 


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