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Re: [News] Firefox Adopts JavaScript 1.7 for Cutting-edge Scripts, AJAX

  • Subject: Re: [News] Firefox Adopts JavaScript 1.7 for Cutting-edge Scripts, AJAX
  • From: Mark Kent <mark.kent@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 06:55:06 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • References: <1160927852.399791.326040@k70g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> <ldpb04-t6a.ln1@ellandroad.demon.co.uk> <6811211.Pyns7I7Ee0@schestowitz.com>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1169967
begin  oe_protect.scr 
Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> __/ [ Mark Kent ] on Monday 16 October 2006 08:36 \__
>> begin  oe_protect.scr
>> Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
>>> Firefox 2.0 to Feature New JavaScript 1.7
>>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>>| For that reason, the upgrade of the interpreter to version
>>>| 1.7 will be of prime importance, especially as JavaScript
>>>| begins to take on more of the programming features of newer,
>>>| compelling scripting languages such as Python and Ruby.
>>>| "JavaScript 1.7...implements a whole host of new features
>>>| that were really inspired by the takeoff of other languages
>>>| that have become popular, like Python and Ruby," stated
>>>| Schroepfer, "so we take the JavaScript language to that
>>>| next level."
>>> `----
> http://www.betanews.com/article/Firefox_20_to_Feature_New_JavaScript_17/1160795703
>> At least they're not being conned by the ECMA folks.  The great thing
>> about open-source is that since it's open, it forms its own standard,
>> free of the ambiguities of those written in English or in pseudo-code.
> This relates to patents and IP. Remember that companies in the States patent
> algorithms (Rex prefers "algorythms") that are a generic recipe rather than
> code. They esentially protect /ideas/ instead of actual work.

Unfortunately, I think that the patenting of algorithms might be a
mistake, at least for more than a very short period.  The speed of
development of software is so rapid that holding a development direction
up for 30 years (or however long they last these days) just seems
insane;  in most cases, there's another way of skinning a cat anyway, so
all it really achieves is a block on development.

I'm always reminded of the Telefunken patent on PAL (the phase
alternation part - the reason why analogue TV in Europe looks so much
better than in North America) resulted in Sony creating a television
which converted the signal from PAL to NTSC before displaying it...
Sony made the only PAL televisions with a 'hue' control (you don't need
one in the PAL system, because it's always correct).  

The net result was twofold - firstly - almost every company which paid
up for the telefunken patent no longer makes televisions!  Secondly, PAL
development stopped for years, although it could be argued that many
other improvements took place, so that PAL televisions display at 100Hz
frame rate instead of 50, nicam stereo sound, teletext, and so on.

Algorithms look so much like maths to me that the argument that they're
expensive to develop is just wrong.  I do wonder what would happen if we
just had a patent "day zero" where all software patents be expired
simultaneously, so that all bets are off, and we start from a
clean-sheet.  Another option might be to make them very short-lived, say
for two years.  That would give an inventor a short but usable gap in
which to have a go before the idea becomes generally copiable.  Of
course, you can always argue that big-corps will just wait until the two
years have gone by, /but/, in these open-source days, that approach
might no longer be effective anyway.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
Save yourself from the 'Gates' of hell, use Linux."  -- like that one.
	-- The_Kind @ LinuxNet

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