Archive | June 28, 2003

European Software patents…

Patenting unique ideas for exclusive licensed use is an abomination to the software culture I was raised in. Good ideas should be shared, enhanced, amplified and refined. The *expression* of those ideas should certainly be copyrightable, to preserve, for a limited time, the rights of workers to protect their hard work from cut-and-paste. But, if I come up with a clever idea, say, of letting a customer order from my web site with a single click, well, that might be my competitive advantage for the week or month or year until my competitors can figure out how to duplicate my work, by which time I better have come up with a whole lot more clever refinements. That’s the nature of competition.

Also, I don’t believe that the patenting process fits well with the intellectual, rather than concrete physical, nature of the process.

Finally, if a patent is to be used, as is the rule within the mechanical community, the innovation must be shown to be sufficiently unique, and not just a clever extension of previous work. I don’t think we yet have the cataloguing, nor the examiners the in-depth knowledge, to make that determination.

From Slashdot: pdajames writes “An article at ZDNet UK says that the EU bureaucrats aren’t even considering the numerous anti-software patenting opinions out there. According to a well-connected lobbyist group, they have determined there will be patents, and the only question is what kind.”

Microsoft Retires Visual Studio 6.0 and SQL Server exams

According to this page on the Microsoft site, the Visual Studio 6 exams will no longer be offerered after June 30, 2004. I interpret the cryptic note “no candidate requirements to retain certification” to mean that current certifcation holders do not have to take exams. A few years ago, Microsoft was glad to terminate certifications left and right. I took core and elective exams three times to retain my MCSD certification. Now, I think they are facing dwindling numbers and will do what they can to artificially bolster those figures.

I thought the MCSD (“Solution Developer”) idea was a good one, but I don’t believe that Microsoft was ever able to estalish sufficient credibility and desirability for earning the certificate.

Disclaimer: I was a significant contributor to the VFP 6.0 Distributed Solutions examination.

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