I agree BlueSky - I was just being reactionary - legally he has the cards until:
tkwww (Published prior to October 1992)
Viola (Demonstrated July 1993)
HTTP/1.0 Spec (Published 1992)
emacs-www (1992? 1993?)
Mosaic/ application/x-csh (1992, 1993)
www/ application/postscript (1991)
www-talk (1992 threads on executable content)
can be coordinated into a patent-revoking suit.
I guess we will see.
If I saw an "Aqua Lung" (no, I'm not talking about an Ian Anderson concert ;) I mean one of those breathing devices that divers use), then went and patented a general idea like 'a mechanism for respiring oxygen below water' -- that doesn't mean I invented the "Aqua Lung" (or anything else)! And it doesn't...well, shouldn't...mean I have any kind of right or claim to it, imo.
Who knows though, mabye I could be a millionaire, too? Better yet, why limit it to 'below water'? Why don't I get a patent for 'a mechanism for respiring oxygen'; then I can sue everyone living for having lungs and daring to use my technology without my permission! ;p
I wrote this to post last night but my **$%&$* ISP has been down off and on since a week now. Sorry if I'm late : )
Whoa! Sorry for starting this teapot tempest : )
I managed to do a little reading since starting this topic - as Tedster quite rightly pointed out the change only has something to do with the "plugin - awareness" of a browser - the press releases seem to say that it all has something to do with activeX but I think that's misleading - it's the act of using the Eolas patented "way of making a browser understand an desplay a third-party application's content" (my quotes to sum up: what the browser does when the browser sees the HTML <embed> and <object> and <applet> etc tags). Of course the microsoft press release explains none of this.Oh, and I'm sorry that I was totally wrong on one point - animated gif's are safe : P
In addition, Microsoft is only the FIRST company targeted - that wasn't really clear either, but I guess the other big browser fish out there have been warned. Microsoft never planned on coming out with a new version of its browser; it's only because of this case that they will.
I'm not so sure what the implications of this case outcome will be - W3C doesn't see much future in the <embed> tag - and seems to have the same attitude for other 'special' plug-in signalling HTML tags as well. Perhaps someone better informed than I can fill us in there... or perhaps there's another thread...
My motto in this case is 'wait and see'. I'm not going to rush and change code on my pages or inform clients that they have to hire me to change code on their pages. Too many uncertainties: pending lawsuits, prior art, international aspects, vague MS schedule, user choice. Besides, it's not like the Y2K bug: web sites will not stop 'working'. The situation will probably become more clear in a couple of months.
|The legal battle is far from being over. It may be premature to change any pages yet. Eolas considers the work around as still infringing on their patent. They filed a motion to permanently enjoin Microsoft from distributing their browser unless they get a license or remove it completely. Who knows which way the courts will decide. |
Wouldn't that be great! Allowing Mozilla and Opera to take over! Unless of course they are targeted too.
What will happen is a new IE comes out as mentioned - one which is already available for testing - but who will upgrade? People are still using IE5! So the majority will just stick with the current version of IE6 and ignore any later versions.
I know what I will say if a client asks... don't upgrade!
Why should we to get 'less' functionality and more barriers to viewing rich content?
As HyperGeek said: << Why does it seem that every company or organization out there is trying feverishly uninvent everything that's become a standard? >>
I wouldn't call it 'uninventing' - it's more of a hurdle thrown in front of us at the last second. I will follow the well-given advice above: change nothing, sit and wait.
...You know, I don't think it will end here. IMHO all this looks like a Microsoft tactic to get Eolas to back down - by threatening to ruin the internet for everyone. Lame, but Microsoft has never been known for its imagination.
Also interesting to see how this will affect advertising on MSN.com.
Just visited, clicked a few links and saw lots of advertisers Flash ad's. Would love to see how they will explain the impact of this to their advertisers...
That info was worth visiting to find this lunchtime.
Good to know in advance (as much as possible!) that kind of stuff.
from MS page quoted earlier regarding
inlining data to avoid a warning prompt:
You can provide base64-encoded data to the ActiveX control with the DATA attribute of the OBJECT element to provide data in base64 format.
so ..., you can thank EOLAS for forcing upon users
of the new version autoloading of active content,
because some advertisers are going to notice this,
and insist that their providers do this inline thing.
when, not if, this happens, don't blame MS for being
As far as I can see, from a personal point of view this news is fantastic. I know it doesn't mean a lot, but finally my html pages, with little bits of flash chucked in, can now validate with w3c!
The code which Macromedia used to embed flash into html pages meant that its own validator on DWMX as well as the W3c's validator, threw up errors. With the solutions regarding this IE upgrade which can be found here: ( [macromedia.com ] ) my pages now validate, and so it seems, they will still work in most-if not all-browsers. The fact that for the last 2 weeks I've been looking for alternatives to the <embed> tag (found some but they were generally unsatisfactory), now I have the answer, and I suppose all the others out there wanting to validate embedded flash will also be HAPPY!
(NB. even though this story is quite old and the method of doing this has been possible for ages!)
Its time to say goodbye to IE.
I've recently started using MOZILLA FIREBIRD (www.mozilla.org/products/firebird/why/), it blows IE away (tabbed browser windows, form filling, password keeper, google bar, etc). I've even started encouraging my customers and users to drop IE. Hey, IE has never been standards compliant anyway... good riddence, I hope they lose major market share.
Based on what Eolas says, they certainly make pretty far-reaching claims
The Web Application Platform
Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.
U.S. Patent 5,838,906, Filed in October, 1994, Issued November 17, 1998
Inventors: Michael D. Doyle, David C. Martin and Cheong Ang
First demonstrated publicly in 1993, this invention lifted the glass for the first time from the hypermedia browser, enabling Web browsers for the first time to act as platforms for fully-interactive embedded applications. The patent covers Web browsers that support such currently popular technologies as ActiveX components, Java applets, and Navigator plug-ins. Eolas' advanced browser technology makes possible rich interactive online experiences for over 500 million Web users, worldwide.
Some additional reading of interest (at least to me).
[infoworld.com ] puts the price tag to MS for using the Eolas technology at 150-200 million dollars per year.
[news.com.com ] with the quote
|the verdict is increasingly interpreted as a potentially crushing burden on the Web, threatening to force significant changes to its fundamental language, HTML. Microsoft's competitors fear that Eolas' lawyers will target them next, and its partners--such as Macromedia and Sun Microsystems--worry that an enjoined IE browser would be prohibited from running their software plug-ins without awkward technology alternatives. |
The result has been a complex shift of industry dynamics that has turned many traditional alliances and rivalries upside down, prompting long-suffering competitors in the browser market to side with archrival Microsoft
[usatoday.com ] Gives a good time line and explains that Doyle did not sue earlier, because his patent was not approved until 1998, at which point he filed suit, and the thing has finally come to fruition. In the meantime, of course, MS won the browser war.
Incidentally, most articles say Macromedia will be hurt the most. Macromedia price plummeted on Thursday, so it certainly seems to have investors worried. [finance.yahoo.com ]
This suppresses the superfluous 'click OK for no reason' dialogue box OK in Microsoft's preview version browser, at least. Whether MS will be forced to change their plans again before the final release remains to be seen.
|Its time to say goodbye to IE. |
I've recently started using MOZILLA FIREBIRD ...
exactly where has it been stated that mozilla isn't on Eolas's list of browser companies to sue? or opera, icab or any of the others ...
and right along the "stupid patent tricks" topic: apparently from the looks of the Acacia patent goings on --looks like now they're going after anybody providing links to sites providing streaming audio/video content for a licensing fee. looks like another thing people will have to be changing web pages for ...
Update - W3C in the mix:
I was the only person in a Slashdot thread to say this, and I'll probably be the only person here.. but.. good! The sooner we have no Flash on the Web, the better ;-)
Flash is great in certain situations, but those are situations where clicking to allow Flash to run is viable.
Using Flash to throw up adverts, power supposedly 'accessible' sites, and for gigantic interstitals, however, is not so great, and I wave good riddance.
I tend to agree with wackybrit. Flash has a place, I think, for someone somewhere. Just not me. It should already be considered bad practice to require flash to visit a website as 'user' accounts can no longer install it on the most popular operating system anyways. I occasionally use the gflashplayer, a stand alone player, to view some flash movies and afaik it ships with the plugin (at least for linux).
|'user' accounts can no longer install it on the most popular operating system |
Hmm... Never though of that. High 90s penetration or not, that's still a bit of a problem.
Personally the only time flash bothers me is when it's required to use a site (hear me Macromedia?!). Otherwise I just block it.
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