Paul Graham on patent trolls, Venitian glass-blowers, and hockey
The wretched silliness of software trivialities and obviousness that are granted patents by the U.S. Patent Office is a popular and easy target of scorn from technically-minded folks. A popular response is to declare that the very idea of software patents is nonsense at best and at worst the end of innovation in the tech industry.
Paul Graham will meet you half-way -- a lot of the things that get patents shouldn't -- but he makes a surprising case in favor of software patents in his essay Are Software Patents Evil? In it, he argues that holding and using software patents are two different things, the first isn't necessarily wrong, and the second has its defenses as well:
Google clearly doesn't feel that merely holding patents is evil. They've applied for a lot of them. Are they hypocrites? Are patents evil?
There are really two variants of that question, and people answering it often aren't clear in their own minds which they're answering. There's a narrow variant: is it bad, given the current legal system, to apply for patents? and also a broader one: it is bad that the current legal system allows patents?
These are separate questions. For example, in preindustrial societies like medieval Europe, when someone attacked you, you didn't call the police. There were no police. When attacked, you were supposed to fight back, and there were conventions about how to do it. Was this wrong? That's two questions: was it wrong to take justice into your own hands, and was it wrong that you had to? We tend to say yes to the second, but no to the first. If no one else will defend you, you have to defend yourself.
Further in Also in Java Today, "It sometimes seems like widely popular web-standards innovation halted around 2000, and the last few years have been a period of very slow catch-up. Various visions of a new Web, a better Web, have come and gone, leaving behind useful parts but not yet transforming the Web. Are we on the edge of the next big thing? It may make sense to look at the last few big things, comparing their visions with what's happening today." In the xml.com article The Next Web? Simon St. Laurent traces the promises and progress of various "Next Big Thing" contenders: the XML Web, the Semantic Web, the Services Web, the Next XHTML, and AJAX.
In today's Forums,
leo_test seeks help with Threads in GUIs for 1.5: "Next I'm getting confused about the Locks - What is the advantage to adapt code to 1.5 and not use any longer the synchronized in the method-name? (using lock resp. trylock instead of synchronized). And finally I am even more confused, cause I've found as well SwingWorkers. So, does this mean instead of hacking my own Thread-handling SwingWorker is the *better* approach? What's the benefit instead of starting the Thread by myself?"
beemer_addict has a clever hack in Re: Full Screen Mode on Linux: "I have found a workaround: A kind of 'poor mans' fullscreen mode: You simply maximize the window and remove the decorations. Works fine both on windows and linux win Java 1.4.2 and 1.5.0"
Nigel Daley has a grid computing introduction in today's Weblogs. In Compute Server: how it works, he writes: "The recently createdCompute Serverproject aims to enable Java developers to easily and efficiently use the Sun Grid Compute Utility as a platform for the distributed execution of parallel jobs. I thought it might be helpful to give a 50,000 foot overview of the recently created Compute Server project."
David Herron considers the surprisingly related issues ofScripting language support and whether Java needs to be open sourced: "I came across this article Former Sun Exec Calls for Firm to Open-Source Java which is repeating yet another in the series of calls for Sun to open source our Java implementation. [...] There is a part I want to examine a bit."
In Java Web Services (JWS) 2.0, Changshin Lee writes: "While I was working on preparing slides for my session on TmaxDay 2006, I came up with some idea of grouping and classifying Java web services technologies"
In Projects and Communities, Today (Friday, March 31) is the final day for entries in the Mustang Regression Challenge, which offers a t-shirt to every verified regression and an Ultra 20 workstation to the top five as judged by Sun's Java engineering and QA teams. Regression bugs will still be welcome after the deadline, but today is the last day for the contest.
The 74th issue of the JavaTools Community Newsletter rounds up tool-related news items from around the web, offers a "tool tip" for using Subversion when starting a new java.net project, welcomes four projects to the community, and congratulates three projects on their graduation from the tools community incubator.
In today's java.net News Headlines :
- XINS 1.4.0-beta2
- Ivy 1.3.1
- JOSSO 1.4
- Eclipse 3.0 FAQ Published
- JBoss Adds Messaging & JBoss Web Server to JEMS
- Coldtags Suite 2.65
Registered users can submit news items for the java.net News Page using our news submission form. All submissions go through an editorial review before being posted to the site. You can also subscribe to the java.net News RSS feed.
Current and upcoming Java Events :
- April 7-9, 2006 - Greater Carolina Software Symposium 2006
- April 11-12, 2006 - Sun Tech Days - Sao Paulo
- April 20-21, 2006 - Sun Tech Days - Moscow
- April 21-23, 2006 - Western Pennsylvania Software Symposium 2006
- April 24-27, 2006 - MySQL Users Conference 2006
- April 25-28, 2006 - Enterprise Java Architecture Workshop Toronto
- April 28-30, 2006 - Northern Virginia Software Symposium
- May 3-4, 2006 - Sun Tech Days - Johannesburg
- May 7-9, 2006 - Rocky Mountain Software Symposium: Spring Edition
- May 8-10, 2006 - Eclipse Forum Europe 2006
- May 8-12, 2006 - Enterprise Architektur Konferenz
- May 8-12, 2006 - JAX 2006 - Konferenz f