About Microsoft Patent
Hi, After reading the patent I think that we are due for a tea party :-) After reading the patent I noticed that they refer a lot on backbird material. Let's do a bit of history here. I remember, about 5 years ago going to a Microsoft multimedia conference where they presented backbird which is the system under MSN. On one side you have what they call stories (i.e. content) and on the other side you have content formatter (i.e. style sheet). You can deduce the rest. What is interesting about the patent is first the date: January 12 1999!!!! Secondly it describe a complete publishing system having content separated from style(yes I did the monk job to read it all and try to understand the implications (thanx IBM for their patent server). In fact, the impact is not solely reserved to XSL but also to Dsssl, CSS and even more XML or SGML. As noted in one of the patent's pages: Page layouts + Content objects = Displayed pages On sheet 9 they show the concept of property sets associated to what is called a style sheet object (the property set is the style sheet object's content and a style sheet object is interfaced to the external world with a style sheet object interface, thus it is a COM object), we should remember that a COM object binary signature is in fact a C++ vtable. Up to now, this can be challenged by simple jurisprudence (demonstrate that this was existing before). The style sheet to content association is described with detail and is corresponding to CSS resolution mechanism not necessarily specified in W3 specs but from the implementation point of view. This where litigation could occur because it make sense to implements style sheet to content resolution the way they describe and can be hard and costly to demonstrate that such algorithm was existing before. Mozilla, in its current work in progress, is implemented with an architecture similar to what is described. Then, legally speaking, Mozilla in in patent infringement for the style sheet resolution mechanism in its actual implementation and so is probably Opera (I don't know for sure, because I do not have access to Opera's sources). Yep, this has, for sure implications to XSL with FO not as XSL as a transformation language which is not covered by the patent. I guess this add more weight to the actual thread about splitting XSL from the formatting object stuff. If W3 do not move fast on this, Paul, let's create this manifesto ASAP, get colleagues signed it ASAP and publish it ASAP. I am voluntary to help you in this task if you want even this week end. Paul, how do want you us to proceed, you make a draft and we give you feedback or we all do a part of it and get a delivery deadline? And to other people who expressed the interest, I guess now the event push us toward action. What is your proposal for the next step? I think it should be, like Paul suggested, a manifesto, so let's move to action. I am ready to do my part. Any voluntaries? Regards Didier PH Martin mailto:martind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx http://www.netfolder.com XSL-List info and archive: http://www.mulberrytech.com/xsl/xsl-list
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