Microsoft has a patent pending in NZ for a Word-processing document stored in a single XML file that may be manipulated by applications that understand XML.
They've said "If we don't patent something that we've invented or developed someone else would". They invented? Huh? Storing a document in XML isn't a new invention - given that XML derives from HTML you could easily argue that storing a structured document was the first intended use of XML! The use of XML for data interchange between software components (I think) was a secondary use. This patent (pending) is a good example of the flaws of Intellectual Property assignment - there is no invention here, there is prior use, it is a trivial application of technology, and the only "benefit" of this sort of assignment is to increase the defensive patent portfolio of large companies (to be used to squash small companies).
I readilly accept IP if there is real invention, but that's not happening here. But I strongly dislike IP assignments for trivial things because it stiffles innovation industry-wide - imagine if IP was assigned for mathematical discoveries? We'd be living in single story buildings, using candles and riding horses.
Playing with orkut like everyone else. Cool stuff.
Getting sick again - trying to wrap up the budget for Linux.Conf.Au 2004, while doing Linux Australia committee things, while hacking dashboard (trying to get something ready for submission), and some python/gtk hacking for demonstration at LinuxSA next month, while trying to earn some brownie points with Susie - I owe a lot after this past year.
I need 30 hour days.
Ugly stuff going on with a part of the conf. Just wish requests could have been made a couple of weeks ago, not just the day before. sigh.
It's all very exciting, can't wait for this thing to start.
linux.conf.au is only a week away - everyone came back from holidays today, so I didn't get many actions done. I think my list is sub-50 items, not mentioning writing the conference opening and closing. Needless to say, a few of my projects are getting neglected as a result.
Big things get announced hopefully tomorrow and Thursday. Hope embargoed press releases stay that way - don't want to scare certain people away >:->
Last conference comment for today: Go back and read our news page - I'm constantly amazed at the cool stuff that's we've organised!
planet.gnome.org got it's own URL - pretty cool. About time (although it might have been like that for a while and I didn't notice. Or something). While jdub wants to have contributed enough to get listed on planet debian I'd be happy getting listed on Planet GNOME :-) I know, I know, it's all about what you contribute... at least I have that goal going forward this year...
 the conference sponsors, and just about every journalist in .au *And* they *all* called my mobile today.
Strange Merchandise: Who would buy this?
The big surprise will get announced in a fortnight's time.
Registrations continue strongly - at the current rate of registrations, there's only 10-12 days or so before we sell out. So if you are planning on coming, you'd better get in quick! This is a hard-core developers conference, so if we're going to sell out I want to make sure the right sort of people are sitting on the seats.
Reading: Like most people I'm making my way through both The Art of Unix Programming and Linux Kernel Development. Both have their strengths and weaknesses - I'll add my summaries to those of mbp, joel, and everyone else soon...
Dashboard: Development continues at break-neck speed. I really like the .doc frobnicator work being done by msevior out of AbiWord. Had to stop implemeting my own ideas on dashboard right now as cvs is changing just too quickly for me to keep up. I'll start again around January 18 - once Linux.Conf.Au finishes and normal life resumes.
Runner up in the coolest thing of the week prize is expocity. This simply rocks.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!