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Morfik Defends IP Rights Against Google

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the set-course-for-deep-pockets dept.

99

ReadWriteWeb writes "Today Morfik came out fighting in defense of its product JST (Javascript Synthesis Technology). Morfik has implied that Google infringed its IP by releasing Google Web Toolkit (GWT) a couple of weeks ago. The reason? GWT bore more than a casual resemblance to Morfik's JST, which allows developers to use a high-level language of choice and have it compiled to JavaScript. GWT is similar, being a Java-to-Javascript translator. These Javascript compiler products are increasingly necessary for companies like Google, with the high use of Ajax on today's Web and the associated complexity of programming in Javascript."

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First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15433955)

First post nigga!

f s (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15433960)

!!frisrst psr0st.

Sure.. (5, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433966)

These Javascript compiler products are increasingly necessary for companies like Google, with the high use of Ajax on today's Web and the associated complexity of programming in Javascript.

There's no associated complexity with programming in JavaScript. There's lack of progress in the language (still no native support of ECMA4 in browser, shame that *Flash* comes with ECMA4 implementation in just two months, before browsers do).

JS synthesis is a hack anyway. I've seen the code produced by such technologies, and it's crap. You trust your application's well being to the compiler authors with the hope they update it when it breaks in the latest and greatest browser out there.

The correct way to me is upgrading the JavaScript language itself, and until then, using native JS libraries that can be readily reviewed and edited.

JS as a language isn't so primitive as to require a Java or C++ compiler to write good and clean code for it.

Re:Sure.. (1, Troll)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433987)

JS synthesis is a hack anyway. I've seen the code produced by such technologies, and it's crap. You trust your application's well being to the compiler authors with the hope they update it when it breaks in the latest and greatest browser out there.

Which makes me wonder why google released the toolkit, given that it could help their competitors.

Google are always on the lookout for sources of meta information about sites they search. Is it possible that the toolkit snaffles information from the compilation environment and builds it into the generated code? Only to "server you better" of course.

Re:Sure.. (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434005)

Google are always on the lookout for sources of meta information about sites they search. Is it possible that the toolkit snaffles information from the compilation environment and builds it into the generated code?

Where's your tinfoil hat :)

If this was the case we'd know about it: the "compiled" code it pretty easy to open and read (even if it's still a JS spaghetti mess of a code). No info can be hidden inside.

They do it for two reasons:

1. PR: after few screw ups, like the google's China service, google's "omg ms doesn't put us default in ie7" rants and so on, they needed a bit of a good image in the community to restore they non-evil status

2. they get thousands of free betatesters world-wide to help them point out flaws in their code, which then they'll use in THEIR OWN applications.

Re:Sure.. (1, Interesting)

noamt (317240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434166)

If this was the case we'd know about it: the "compiled" code it pretty easy to open and read (even if it's still a JS spaghetti mess of a code). No info can be hidden inside.

Ever heard of steganography [wikipedia.org] ? I'm not saying they do it, but it absolutely can be done. For example, names of generated variables, functions, etc. can bear (encrypted) information.

-Noam.

Re:Sure.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15435882)

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

Sure, they could name the variables funny. But unless it sends /something/ to google, they ain't going to know squat.

Plus nothing stops you from running any of the freely available Jscript obfuscators after compilation.

Silly rabbit

Re:Sure.. (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434122)

It would be possible, but it's not the case. The generated code is open for anyone to inspect, and there's nothing obviously fishy about it. Have a look yourself if you doubt it.

Re:Sure.. (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434187)

As the other two posters have said, it would be difficult for them to add anything dubious to human-readable code without them being noticed. What I do think, though, is that if Google releases the compiler it puts them in a much better position for reading information from the compiled code; they know (roughly) how the compiler is going to output most common operations and where within those the important information that the code is presenting to the user will lie. From this they can train googlebot to read GWT generated JS pages better than any other bots can read them, putting Google at a competetive advantage when it comes to searching AJAX pages.

Re:Sure.. (1)

ems2 (976335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436488)

Two quotes from Rob Pike [google.com] 's talk at usenix 2004 [usenix.net] during Q&A:
We test at every level you can think of. Right up to the fault tolerance level. Right down code to the line of code level. We never do enough. We do it a lot. You can't make something reliable unless you have tested the crap out of it. On the other hand we have hundreds of millions of users that test it for us everyday. So a lot of our testing can be done by real time monitoring.... (around 1:00:30)
...I would sure like to see that happen. I know that there is noise to get some of our software out under GPL.... We certainly want to give some of this stuff out to the community because its really cool stuff we want to let people to use. We are talking about it but I don't know whats going to happen. (around 1:03:00)

Re:Sure.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434181)

If you've tried to do anything serious in JavaScript, I'm sure you've noticed that JavaScript implementations in browsers only do cooperative multitasking, and not in a nice way where you could return control to the scheduler in the middle of a task. The only way for a thread to relinquish control is to finish it. That means you can't do anything that takes longer than maybe a few seconds to compute. Waiting for the network is ok, because that's done in parallel, but once control is handed to your script, you have to finish the task within a few seconds or the user thinks the browser crashed because it's going to be unresponsive until your script returns. This is an unacceptable programming environment for anything that isn't just connecting user input to existing fast browser functions (like moving things around on a page, flipping images, etc.)

The number one thing I would want JavaScript to get is preemptive multitasking or at least a way to return control to the scheduler in the middle of a script. They can make it so that a script has to specifically ask for it. This way the people who don't know how to program thread-safe can still kick DOM objects around, but those of us who want the browser to do more wouldn't have to chop every task into tiny subfunctions, which comes with a huge overhead, is hard to get right and leads to code that is very difficult to maintain.

The lack of proper concurrency in JavaScript is a huge advantage for Flash and Java, both of which run code continuously while the browser keeps running its own code and stays responsive.

Re:Sure.. (0)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434312)

"JS synthesis is a hack anyway."

Well, Javascript itself is a hack. So is Ajax, for that matter. It is an attempt to turn a client application designed to browse static web pages (remember those, from the dark ages of the 1990s?) into a dynamic client based web application, something it was never really meant to do.

I find it ironic that normally scripting languages are considered high level languages that are easy to develop in, but with Javascript we actually have libraries that attempt to force code written in a compiled language into a script...

I also find it ironic that this whole time we have had a technology that allows people to execute java code in a browser, in fact it was one of the first uses of Java. I'm guessing the early proponents of Java applets are feeling pretty bad now.

Re:Sure.. (1)

ashirusnw (953396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434424)

There's no associated complexity with programming in JavaScript. There's lack of progress in the language (still no native support of ECMA4 in browser, shame that *Flash* comes with ECMA4 implementation in just two months, before browsers do).

I disagree.

Javascript is complex due to it's idiosynchroses due it's weird mix of functional LISP-like features and half-baked OO constructs (prototype) which means that (for instance) the "this" keyword has strange properties [quirksmode.org] which, although well-documentated, make it hard to use the encapsulation features that do exist

As a result of this, Javascript-capable IDEs have poor code naviagtion and outlining - and the deguggers have similar problems making it complex to develop using to Javascript.

JS synthesis is a hack anyway. I've seen the code produced by such technologies, and it's crap. You trust your application's well being to the compiler authors with the hope they update it when it breaks in the latest and greatest browser out there.

Given the browser issues, I would think that a Javascript compiler is just the way to go. As soon as (say) IE 7 comes out and breaks all those hand-crafted scripts, you just recompile with the lastest version of (say) Google's GWT whcih will obviously be kept up to date with the latest browers

I'm a functional (Haskell, LISP) programmer as well as being well versed in OO (C++ & Java mainly) and I've just started my first AJAX project and I've hopped from IDE TO ide including plain vim, Eclipse with ADT & WDT, Mozilla with Venkman debugger and (gasp horror) Visual Studio 2005 and I still find it harder than anything else I've done in terms of code-navigation and debugging

Re:Sure.. (2, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434566)

I'm a functional (Haskell, LISP) programmer as well as being well versed in OO (C++ & Java mainly) and I've just started my first AJAX project and I've hopped from IDE TO ide including plain vim, Eclipse with ADT & WDT, Mozilla with Venkman debugger and (gasp horror) Visual Studio 2005 and I still find it harder than anything else I've done in terms of code-navigation and debugging

Word.

There just *is no* decent environment for doing this kind of stuff (Ajax/DOM). I was actually impressed with Visual Studio as a development tool until I started trying to code some interactive AJAX-style stuff. I'm still using the "2003" version (and won't be upgrading), and if you hop through a few hoops you *can* get it to do some javascript debugging along with IE, but it will stop on any error, and refuse to continue or allow you to edit. You have to stop the debugger, go find the code it complained about, edit, restart, repeat.

Of course if you want to write for multiple browsers, you have to find another way to debug for mozilla, etc. Firefox with the "Web Developer" extension is *very* handy, and I make extensive use of it as well as "DOM Inspector" and "View Rendered Source Chart", but it's not really like having an IDE, it's closer to trial and error.

I'm hoping I can move away from .NET after this project - maybe with PHP5 and Eclipse I can come up with a more rational environment for developing this stuff.

Re:Sure.. (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437113)

All you said has been fixed in ECMA4. JS is just very old. We need to update it, not hack it.

Godo thing at least Flash 9 got the right idea.

Re: Generated code quality (1)

dumky (598905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436567)

Have you looked at Script#, a prototype C# to Javascript compiler/translater?
Compared to GWT, the generated code is beautiful...

http://www.nikhilk.net/Entry.aspx?id=121 [nikhilk.net]

Re:Sure.. (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437160)

JS as a language isn't so primitive as to require a Java or C++ compiler to write good and clean code for it.

It's not about how primitive JS is; it's about people wanting to write object-oriented code. Object orientation in JavaScript leaves a lot to be desired. For proof: I suggest you take a look at 99.9% of JavaScript libraries, which extend the JavaScript language to make it seem more OO.

Ownership? (5, Insightful)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433970)

They "own" the innovation? Some people have a really distorted view of the intent and philosophy of so-called Intellectual Property. As Thomas Jefferson so nicely put it: "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lites his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

If they think that Google could have actually copied their idea in such a short time, then they are admitting that they had no competitive advantage outside the recourse of litigation. More likely, they developed it concurrently. Google has been making fat web pages as they call them for some time now and I imagine that GWT started as a tool for inhouse projects.

Re:Ownership? (4, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433990)

They "own" the innovation? Some people have a really distorted view of the intent and philosophy of so-called Intellectual Property.

You can imagine how it went: google released the kit, Morfik read up on it, and realizsed he's screwed, so he went "legal" on the matter.

Risk is part of the business. It sure took a lot of time to develop his JS synthesis compilers, and it's terribly frustrating to see a competitor release a free alternative.

But here's the thing: if the most valuable thing in your product is an "idea" (the idea of roughly translating languages in JS spaghetti code) instead of the product itself, you'll be screwed sooner or later anyways.

Synthesis is a bridge for C++/Java/C# developers to get coding without learning the technology around "AJAX". It has no value to someone experienced in AJAX.

All of it: classes, typing, interfaces: it's all fake, and impossible to enforce in the runtime, since the runtime doesn't support it (save me the crap about Turing complete since I'm talking practical speed of execution here). So if the compiler doesn't catch it, you're basically screwed.

Re:Ownership? (4, Insightful)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434009)

I had a similar experience not too long ago when I realized that a web app I had spent nearly a year working on (when I should have been releasing early and often) was over taken by what is now a very prominent service.

In my case though, after reading through my business plan a few times in denial, I came to the realization that I had accomplished a lot and learned a lot but that was all. There's always next time or the time after that.

If I would have wasted any more energy on it I would be in a much worse situation today.

Re:Ownership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434087)

Erm, unless you do dynamic typing there is absolutely no need to 'enforce' classes, typing and interfaces in the compiled code.

So if the compiler doesn't catch it, you're basically screwed.

Huh? You're implying that your average Java program would continue to do something useful if you switched off type checking in the compiler? Dont think so.

Re:Ownership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434231)

More likely, they developed it concurrently. Google has been making fat web pages as they call them for some time now and I imagine that GWT started as a tool for inhouse projects.

When GWT was released, a number of posters on the GWT forum asked about a google maps component, because looking at the JS for that, it was clear (to the posters) that it had been generated by GWT.

Whatever the truth of that, I think its more likely that very little has been developed since Google saw Morfik, they've just been sitting with the lawyers determining what bits of it they could release.

Jefferson had no clue (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434358)

As Thomas Jefferson so nicely put it: "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lites his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."

In the letter of 1813 where this passage appears, Jefferson expresses some skepticism about the general utility of patents:

"Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices."

In fact -- though it was little appreciated at the time -- a burst of invention now called the Industrial Revolution [wikipedia.org] was already well under way in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The specific role of patents in this revolution is open to debate. But it's quite clear that, during that time, Great Britain led the world in the invention of "new and useful devices". When Jefferson claims otherwise, he is completely and totally wrong.

Re:Ownership? (1)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434719)

And from the post: Today Morfik came out fighting in defense of its product JST (Javascript Synthesis Technology).

I like how they say Morfik is 'defending' its product when they are the ones suing. The wording is meant to evoke sympathy for Morfik.

How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433988)

"high-level language of choice and have it compiled to JavaScript"

Sounds like a pretty ambitions brief given the limitations
of javascript. Presumably you'd be very limited in what you
can do in the other language , for example I doubt some C++
database code would be cross-compiled successfully! Is it
meant just for people who only know VBscript or similar or
have they really tried to make it work with serious non-scripting
languages?

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434023)

Which limitations? JavaScript is not only turing-complete, but also a very powerful language. It would be much more difficult to compile JavaScript code down to Java than vice versa.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434117)

JavaScript is not only turing-complete, but also a very powerful language.

OMG it's turing-complete! Let's use it to render 3D movies!

This is the most tired and misunderstood argument to use: any general purpose modern language is turing-complete.

Let's patch our way by abusing the fact it's turing-complete! Runtime features don't matter! Filesize don't matter and the fact you may need a super-computer don't matter too!

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15439064)

I just fed it the basic emerge tools, I'm now waiting for the JavaScript "emerge world" to complete to see if I can run Unix in IE.

So far the process doesn't seem to be completely transparent.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

Bamfarooni (147312) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441868)

OMG it's turing-complete! Let's use it to render 3D movies!

Too late. http://www.slimeland.com/raytrace/ [slimeland.com]

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442804)

Too late. http://www.slimeland.com/raytrace/ [slimeland.com]

Nice experiment. Nonetheless: needs an hour to render one 800x600 frame with.. a sphere.

On a super-computer of course it doesn't matter.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434130)

Which limitations? JavaScript is not only turing-complete, but also a very powerful language. It would be much more difficult to compile JavaScript code down to Java than vice versa.

God damn it if you mod this non-sense insightful I'll give up any hope on Slashdot.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (3, Interesting)

arevos (659374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434465)

Actually, the grandparent poster has a point. Javascript is a dynamically typed language that makes liberal use of high level functions in more complex scripts. Due to Javascript's fluid nature, it would be difficult for a largely static language like Java to match it exactly. For instance, a class in Javascript is merely a function that dynamically constructs an object. One could roughly map a Java class to a Javascript function, but it would be difficult to the inverse. Java's rigid structure would be disadvantageous in this case.

Of course, one could just map the Javascript directly to a class file, and I believe Rhino does just that. However, that's not quite what the gransparent said, and even Rhino doesn't allow a flawless mapping from a Javascript class to a Java one (at least to the best of my knowledge). Classes in Java are just too static to entirely accomodate the more fluid Javascript object builder functions.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437120)

Classes in Java are just too static to entirely accomodate the more fluid Javascript object builder functions.

How about the Abstract Factory [dofactory.com] design pattern?

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

arevos (659374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438390)

How about the Abstract Factory design pattern?

This would only work if all of the properties for a Javascript object were readily available at compile time, which is not necessarily the case. The first problem is that there's no foolproof way to know which properties listed will be added at run time. One could have add a property to an object dependant on the value of a randomly generated number, for instance.

The second problem is that objects in Javascript are also associative arrays (analogous to the Map interface in Java). This means that you cannot guarentee to know the names of all possible properties. One could take the name of the property from user input, for instance.

You could artificially restrict Javascript; get the programmer to obey certain restrictions to ensure Javascript could be correctly parsed into Java. But you couldn't guarentee an accurate conversion if you allowed Javascript's full feature range.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434478)

Well if you want to be technical about it, a JavaScript app can do anything an app in Java (or C++ or any other language) can do. In fact, it would be pretty easy, anytime it is supposed to do something in the second language, it sends an HTTP request to the server with the function it wants to execute and have it return the result in the response.

Now that being said, that would be a very bad design. Aside from the fact that it would have horrible performance from all the requests that are sent to the poor server and all the responses that the app has to wait for, it would open up a huge security hole. Any code that is exposed to your JavaScript app that you nicely coded (or had auto-generated) will have to also be exposed to anyone with an Internet connection. So that would probably be a very bad model. Now I doubt that the Google framework does this (or there would have been outcry long ago), but I fear it is only a matter of time before someone does try something like this and a huge security risk is exposed.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435739)

"Well if you want to be technical about it, a JavaScript app can do anything an app in Java (or C++ or any other language) can do."

Care to give a URL that will point to some device driver code
written in Javascript?

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15439940)

I can give you a link to a description as to how you would go about it [slashdot.org] . Basically you write the device driver code in C, then expose access to that code in a webapp running on your server, and have the JavaScript app access that app using XMLHttpRequests. No I cannot give you a link to an actual implementation as no one (hopefully) would be dumb enough to expose device driver access over the net...

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442925)

"Basically you write the device driver code in C"

I think that says it all.

Re:How well does this cross-compilation work? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443496)

Yes, I'm not saying that an application using nothing but javascript can do whatever it wants. I'm saying that theoretically, a cross compilation tool can have its generated javascript code do anything that the origional code can do without the limitations of the javascript language being a problem.

Language translators? (3, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15433989)

The idea of language translators is as old as mountains. Translating from Fortran to Pascal, from C to Assembly, from C++ or Perl to C, from Csh to Bash, from Awk to Perl. What's so new about Java to Javascript translator? The fact that the guys wrote another "to javascript" translator?

Re:Language translators? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434259)

Actually, didn't Rhino, the Java classes for the Javascript library in Mozilla come with a JavaScript-to-Java compiler?

Ah-ha! Bingo..
http://www.mozilla.org/rhino/jsc.html [mozilla.org]

Re:Language translators? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434819)

Yeah, mod up, right on.
Visual Cobol, to Javascript. Nothing wrong with that either.

Re:Language translators? (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435311)

Nothing wrong with Intellectual Property rights of that. The fact you'd have to wear a paper bag on your head forever after releasing it is a completely different matter.

wait for the real story... (5, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434004)

There's nothing substantive in TFA. There's nothing to do but speculate at this point.

I doubt that any company would go to court to defend a claim that they own programming language-to-language translation. If they are, then they'll lose or have the case tossed out.

More likely is that someone at Morfik looked at the output from the google toolkit and noticed that it was suspiciously similar to the output from their own ("we never got the parens to line up properly for a nested if and google's compiler messes up in exactly the same way... hmmm" -- or something like that).

Of course, this is just speculation. Still waiting for something resembling facts...

Re:wait for the real story... (2, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435117)

There's nothing substantive in TFA. There's nothing to do but speculate at this point.

On behalf of us all, I'd like to welcome you to Slashdot! Be sure to point out the lack of substance in TFA in the rousing discussion that will follow Taco's posting of this article tomorrow.

Prior art if there ever was (5, Interesting)

SomPost (873537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434012)

I know of several Highlevel-to-Lowlevel language translators (e.g. Java-toC [arizona.edu] , Oberon-to-C [uni-kl.de] , you name it) that have been around for decades. Surely, you cannot get a patent for doing the same thing with a different language, can you. Can you?!?

Compiling something to JavaScript in the browser environment is about as obvious as compiling to C on Unix. Case in point, here are a few other X-to-JavaScript compilers pulled off the top of my head: Python [jtauber.com] , Prolog [ioctl.org] , Oberon [microsoft.com] , etc. Seems pretty obvious to me. Not that that has ever prevented the US Patent Office from granting a patent, of course.

Re:Prior art if there ever was (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434090)

I know of several Highlevel-to-Lowlevel language translators (e.g. Java-toC, Oberon-to-C, you name it) that have been around for decades

To say nothing of this newfangled "FORTRAN-to-machine-code" thing...

Re:Prior art if there ever was (1)

tiocsti (160794) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437335)

Also, the early c++ compilers compiled to c, not assembler (cfront).

Re:Prior art if there ever was (1)

ems2 (976335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436595)

Just another one: c2l [vitanuova.com] - C [bell-labs.com] to Limbo [vitanuova.com] . The only two languages Dennis M. Ritchie [bell-labs.com] has documented on.

Re:Prior art if there ever was (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15439739)

I know of several Highlevel-to-Lowlevel language translators (e.g. Java-toC [arizona.edu], Oberon-to-C [uni-kl.de], you name it) that have been around for decades.
But this is totally new and different. They translated a high level language to a low level one using a computer.

Well done. (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434014)

Morfik's founders identified JavaScript as the limiting factor in the development of complex interactive Web-based software applications and decided to develop some proof-of-concept prototypes for the translation of a high-level language to JavaScript.
Congratulations, you've invented a programming language translator. I mean re-invented [program-tr...mation.org] , obviously.

Can I suggest you invent a C-code to machine-code translator next (you could call it a "compiler"). It's the obvious next step in this genius innovation.

Remember when C++ was precompiled to C? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434015)

Do you recall when C++ first came out and the first compilers (Z++???) were precompilers to C?

Or when .NET came out and had compilers from all sorts of languages to .NET CLR.

Or when C just compiled to Assembly language.

I wonder what their new novel and non-obvious idea is that they think they have a right to an exclusive market?

Struts did it first (4, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434052)

The Struts framework (Struts, not Structs) used in the Java/J2EE world already does some JavaScript generation for client-side validation of form input for a couple of years now.

The truth is, the solution that Morfik came up with is actually one of the two most obvious (to any software designer level IT professional that has done any significat amount of web-interface software design and programming) solutions for the "JavaScript libraries are not 100% standard and the language (the official name is ECMAScript) is bug-prone" problem. The solutions being:
  1. Code generation (either based in another language - best candidate being Java - or in configuration files)
  2. Good JavaScript libraries and frameworks, possibly including some level of type checking of parameters


Given the state of the USPTO i wouldn't be surprised in somebody already patented both "inovations"...

Re:Struts did it first (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434105)

Non-Karma Whoring link post for those who don't know :

The OP is referring to Jakarta Struts by the Apache Group, http://struts.apache.org/ [apache.org]

Re:Struts did it first (2, Interesting)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434900)

Eight years ago I attended a web conference (at the Infomart in Dallas) about a company that developed a "dual interface" IDE for Java. It let you deploy to traditional GUI clients and web clients. Of course, everybody hated Swing (Or was it AWT at the time.. not sure) but the jist of this is...

They did generate Javascript code from your Java code.

Not 100% directly - but it was there for special cases.

Anyway, it's a lame technology anyway - it seems more akin to a "meta" language and won't buy most people productivity gains because they are a "one off" project anyway that doesn't get a lot of iterative development.

Re:Struts did it first (1)

imagerodeo (643430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435234)

ASP has generated client-specific JavaScript (er, ECMAScript) for form validation for years. I'm not sure when the JavaScript generation feature was introduced, but ASP was first shipped in 1996.

Who cares if it's bogus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434061)

NTP's patents were bogus and they still got more than half a billion bucks from RIM. These guys may be gambling on being able to drag this case out to SCO's epic proportions. It would probably be much cheaper for Google to just pay them off.

I should have been a lawyer 'cause that's where the money is.

Re:Who cares if it's bogus? (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434075)

These guys may be gambling on being able to drag this case out to SCO's epic proportions

How easily we trust the news today.

What if I tell you that there's no "case", Morfik doesn't threaten Google with case, Morfik didn't even mention to have claims against Google's kit, and it's all a speculation created by an overly eager reporter who tried to read between the lines in one of Morfik's press releases?

IP protection (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434081)

NOn should be able to claim IP on that tecnology.
JST technology (as well as any other similar one) resembles very closely to ... compilers [wikipedia.org] !!!
You write down source code in a high level language like C++ and you get it translated into another target language like machine code.
The "other" language needs not to be at a lower level. You can translate from Fortran or LISP to C as well.
I'd like to see these stupid claims stop once and forever. Companies should focus more on business, research and, most important, customers!

Yet more reason (-1, Troll)

glens (6413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434102)

These Javascript compiler products are increasingly necessary for companies like Google, with the high use of Ajax on today's Web and the associated complexity of programming in Javascript.

The high use of complex javascript is further fuel to the fire of reason to just leave the crap disabled in the browser in the first place. I guess I'm in the dying minority anymore of those who don't go to the WWW in search of a web page "experience".

Some of the damn-fool web designers seem to forget, while they're pumping 30kb of idiotic 'script down the pipe for what should be a simple presentation, that yet half the private Web users (at least here in U.S.A.) are still limited to dial-up connectivity for one reason or another.

It's almost as bad as the idiots (mostly serving via IIS, it seems) who feel their content is so precious that my local squid cache is unable to keep a copy of the many images/scripts they repetitively use to form each and every one of their pages.


      HTTP/1.0 200 OK
      Server: Microsoft-IIS/5.0
      Content-Type: application/x-javascript
      Accept-Ranges: bytes
      Last-Modified: Tue, 31 May 2005 19:03:56 GMT
      ETag: "1bc4e17e1366c51:c72"
      Content-Length: 13981
      Expires: Wed, 31 May 2006 10:41:56 GMT
      Cache-Control: max-age=0, no-cache, no-store
      Pragma: no-cache
      Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 10:41:56 GMT

Re:Yet more reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434229)

I'm right with you and it amuses me that you're modded troll, just imagine the thought process that went into that:
OMG!!! He's dissing javascript, 'fat' web pages and clueless httpd admins. That's my entire business plan, I'll never get VC backing for my web2.0(tm) supercool socially networked, searchable, geo-bookmarking site if this gets out. Hmmm, WTF is web page caching? Must be a troll, noone really dislikes the idea that the web should evolve into a proprietry executable technology, I mean look at all the flash pages on the intarweb. This guy is a troll, where be my mod points???

OMG!! PONIES!!!

Re:Yet more reason (2, Informative)

glens (6413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435220)

That group of response headers was for the file "hbx.js" (created by websidestory.com [hitbox.com], with two U.S. patent numbers prominently displayed in the first line). Note the Last-Modified date; how the Expires date exactly equals the current Date; and if that weren't enough, the two other lines unequivocally instructing any and all to not fucking cache the item.

It was just one of 29 files fetched, 217,085 bytes in total, for the site's [ati.com] main page. Only the 36KB main page HTML content itself was created anew out of the database "just for me" (I didn't note any difference in content from when I visited it a week ago, either, though I guess there could have been). Everything else had a median Last-Modified time of approximately 1 year ago. Every item has the cache control mechanism exactly as shown.

All of the "Products", "Support", &c. "buttons" across the top of the page, among many other common graphic elements, have to get fetched for every stinking page in the site. They must have unlimited bandwidth is all I can figure.

There are 8 javascript files taking up 64 KB of filesystem space here now as a result of wgeting the page and its requisites. You'd think since they're scripting the page out of a database that an initial javascript query failure would have saved them the trouble of sending all that crap.

As far as stuff like google maps, the last time I visited them the Back button (and I think Print as well) didn't work as expected of a web site. Neither could I bookmark the "page". If that's the way "web apps" are going to work they'll need a different interface than the web browser.

I ain't trolling; just venting.

What is "IP"? (2, Insightful)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434137)

Are they meaning patents, copyright or trademark?

Seems this case is either a patent or copyright-issue, but by not stating what "IP" has been violated, TFA is totally meaningless and open for speculation and confusion of the worst sort.

There is in reality nothing called "Intellectual Property".

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434327)

What more can anybody say about this until these vague claims are de-SCO'd?
There is in reality nothing called "Intellectual Property".
Amen.

Re:What is "IP"? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436084)

There is in reality nothing called "Intellectual Property".

There is, in reality, something called "Intellectual Property".

Its a subset of "Intangible Personal Property", itself a subset of "Property".

Similarly, there is a thing called "Property", even though actual property interests are governed by distinct (but sometimes overlapping) sets of case and statute law depending on whether the "property" involved is "real property", "tangible personal property", "intangible personal property", and even more specifically by which particular subcategory of some of those categories it falls into.

The existence of important subcategories of a broader category does not mean the broader category doesn't exist.

Re:What is "IP"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15437414)

There is no property involved, intangible or otherwise. If I were forced into accepting a generalized term for copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets; I would accept "intangible assets". The point being somewhat moot as any generalization of these completely different areas of law can only lead to meaningless drivel like the linked article.
...owner of this ground-breaking innovation and technology is committed to protecting all of its rights...

The promotion of the 'IP' phrase is directly reponsible for such incorrect and simple-minded rubbish!

But is "IP" a useful abstraction? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441039)

There is, in reality, something called "Intellectual Property".

The question is whether "intellectual property" is a useful abstraction over copyright law, patent law, trademark law, trade secret law, and publicity law. What is the term of protection of "intellectual property"? And especially for The Article, does a finding of infringement of "intellectual property" require access to the original work? Unlike mentioning a specific law (patent, copyright, or trade secret), "intellectual property" tells nothing as to the standards by which the allegations will be measured.

Another Javascript generator (2, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434143)

Seems that Javascript generation is quite common. Here's another Javascript-targeting compiler that I came across:

http://haxe.org/intro [haxe.org]

Rich.

Ok, is this IP infringement? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434158)

Ok, is this IP infringement? Nobody knows!

Did Google had a close look at Morfik's technology? Yes!

Does GWT looks a lot like what Morfik has done? Having used Morfik WebOS ApsBuilder for a couple of months, and given the GWT demos and description: definitely YES!

And please keep in mind Morfik's tool has A LOT more nice things! It is like Visual Studio and like Borland Delphi but for the Web, i.e. true RAD development invironment! And yes, it supports not just Java, but c#, Pascal and VB. It can target both Linux and Windows WebServers. Go see yoursef!

Sto

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

darkchubs (814225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434332)

Morfik's HR needs a tighter screening process

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434355)

... and you point is?

Morfik is screwed. Cross-compilers are as old as the industry itself. Heck, one of the examples you cited (Delphi) was implemented as a cross-compiler (pascal to c).

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434477)

Eh? When was Delphi compiling to C? (I remember one of Delphi developers saying that they were proud that Delphi 1.0 was written entirely in Delphi, and that it could compile itself in 15 minutes).

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434885)

Nope - I saw the same thing, and it was that the INTERFACE was written entirely in Delphi. The compiler at the back end was Borland's c compiler.

When Delphi first came out, a lot of us bitched and moaned because we wanted a C version instead. Borlands explanation was that it was a lot more complex to support the whole C language, as opposed to the pascal language (and the single-inheritance model of pascal, which btw sux).

If you think of the keywords and features in pascal, its not that hard to "support" pascal with a c compiler.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434652)

Delphi as a Pascal-to-C compiler is completely off-track: Delphi is based on the Turbo Pascal heritage that goes back to the early-mid 80ies and is one of the fastest compilers on Earth.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434943)

Delphi the language is based on Turbo pascal. However, the back-end of the Windows delphi program was borland's c compiler, not the dos-based pascal compiler, which they didn't port to windows. If you care to look, Delphi supports compiling c++ programs.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435415)

Delphi the language is based on Turbo pascal.

Correct.

However, the back-end of the Windows delphi program was borland's c compiler, not the dos-based pascal compiler, which they didn't port to windows.

Really? What was that "Turbo Pascal for Windows" product they released in 1991, then?

I'd love to see some actual reliable sources to support your claim, if you have any. See, Pascal's design isn't actually as similar to C's as you seem to think. It's not easy to write a direct translator.

If you care to look, Delphi supports compiling c++ programs.

Only because they combined it with the originally-separate product "C++Builder". Which was created after Delphi.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435527)

The "Turbo Pascal for Windows" product was a woebegone POS that never did much, and wasn't missed.

Also, its VERY easy to translate pascal's much simpler syntax to something a c compiler can handle. Consider: no need for multiple inheritance, friend functions, etc.

In the case of Delphi, where pointers are all hidden away from you, the task is even easier.

Now if you want to see something REALLY interesting, look at what the gnu guys are doing with gcc - making a java compiler that compile - not just to java class files/bytecode, but the whole program directly to a native binary (not just native methods). http://gcc.gnu.org/java/ [gnu.org]

That task is a LOT harder than supporting a somewhat limited subset of pascal.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

earache (110979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437107)

You're completely wrong.

Delphi doesn't hide pointers at all and it compiles directly to executable, there is no C-translation phase.

It's also one of the fastest compilers ever.

Nice try though.

(Was a professional Delphi developer for a number of years)

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15434401)

It's quite true. I just found out about it (and downloaded) it last month. Google's offering is nicely priced, but I'm not learning java for that... Morfik lets me use programming languages I already know which is FAR better... I'm sure google's product is nice if you already know java, but who's gonna learn java so they can use a java to javascript translator? I'd rather code in javascript directly then. Totally useless to me. It might take away a small part of their sales, but they're not quite doomed or anything.

Post! AC! With! Lots! of! Exclamation! Points! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15435951)

Dude! Learn! to Use! Punctuation!

If you're going to post AC at least provide some links to back up your claims.
And try not to sound so much like Morfik's marketing department.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15436263)

> Did Google had a close look at Morfik's technology? Yes!

Can you substantiate that statement?

You obviously have some sort of stake in Morfik, so you might want to exercise some judgement when making specific claims about this.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

mondoshawan22 (908648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437537)

Did you RTFA? Nowhere does the author state explicitly anywhere that Google saw or requested internal demos of Morfik's product. From TFA:
The press release seems to imply that Google may've infringed on Morfik's IP. (emphasis mine)
Where in that statement does it actually say that Google definitively saw confidential Morfik WebOS demos? Further, from the press release quoted in TFA:
In October 2005 Morfik's JST was featured at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, California and immediately attracted the attention of leading search engine providers and software development organizations, including founders and top officers from some very large companies. In a number of instances, persons recognizing the potential in the JST innovation and its implications for their own organization's applications requested special more detailed presentations to their engineers or gained access to additional confidential information about JST.
Again, show me where in that paragraph it actually states that Google was definitively listed as one who asked for an internal, confidential demonstration of Morfik's software. Further, may I point you to Google's public policy on corporate secrets from Google's Code of Conduct [google.com] :
d. Competitors' Information
The level of business ethics to which we aspire means applying the same rules to our competitors' information as we do to our own, and that we treat our competitors as we hope they will treat us. We respect our competitors and above all else believe in fair play in all circumstances; we would no sooner use a competitor's confidential information to our advantage than we would wish them to use ours. So, although gathering publicly available information about competitors is certainly a legitimate part of business competition, you should not seek out our competitors' confidential information or seek to use it if it comes into your possession. The same goes for confidential information belonging to any former employer of yours. If an opportunity arises to take advantage of competitors' confidential information, remember: don't be evil. We compete, but we don't cheat. (emphasis mine)
Perhaps we should be looking at a wider issue here instead of dumping FUD every chance we get: both Google's GWT and Morfik's JST are doing something that has been done for ages upon ages. Remember a2p? p2c? gcc? All of these programs translate from a human-readable language to another human-readable language for a machine to read again (yes, even GCC has an intermediate language it uses to perform optimization techniques with). There's so much prior art here that it's insane for the patent office to even consider allowing their patent through in the first place.

Re:Ok, is this IP infringement? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440461)

But his sole argument is that it "Looks" like his product. Yes, he patented some idea's on it but they have already been used in older technologies.

IT sounds similiar to me to the SCO Unix case. See Linux also has AWK! THey look identical!

Seems like ... (1, Funny)

ifdev (973484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434253)

.. they needed a free advertisment on major news source..

1. Come up with a general (and funny) claim..
2. Attack Google
3. Profit!

Re:Seems like ... (1)

c.gerritsen (960884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15437135)

You forgot: 2.5 ????

This is futile (1)

Frightening (976489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434367)

..they should take it out on the street [slashdot.org] .

Missing the point (1)

FooHentai (624583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434402)

It's interesting to see people coming out against the little guy in this. After all, often the argument is bandied about that IP laws are overextended and misused, yet this IS the way IP legislation is supposed to be used (protecting the little fish from steamrollering by the big fish), and clearly even this use in exactly the manner it's intended is completely farcical.

So rather than this being a frivolous suit brought to bear (if it is ever brought to bear, see the point about how this suit might not even exist, above), it's actually a pretty legitimate suit with a good case to answer, at least in terms of the law as it stands today.

Whether those laws should indeed be in place or are in themselves absurd is a matter that I don't think should be heaped upon this one little firm.

Re:Missing the point (1)

j_snare (220372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434519)

I don't think people here are coming out against the little guy, they're more coming out against obvious misuse of the IP laws. The difference here is that this time it's the little guy trying to misuse the IP laws. That doesn't make it a legitimate use.

If people were just wanting to be mean, they'd be talking about how stupid he looks or something else just as pointless.

Instead, we have most people pointing out that what this guy claims IP is completely bogus. He shouldn't have even started out with the idea that he had some valuable IP. The worst thing I can say about this guy is that he wasted his time. I sorta feel sorry for him, but that still doesn't give him the right to claim he came up with the idea.

They have a good reason for this (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434428)

Ever use their web builder? It's crappy and unintuitive. I can't describe it except to say that this is the most likely way that they are going to see any real money from that product as is.

Do Some Research (3, Insightful)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434447)

Well, it's good that many of you are so predictable. You have once again commented on something that you haven't even done the most basic research on in order to get a post listed sooner and mod-troll. So here goes: 1) Morfik is an IDE/RAD tool with a built-in PDF report writer, built-in web server (Apache) and built-in database (Firebird). The other tools to this point don't have any of these features. 2) Morfik allows you to write the code of your application using Java, C#, BASIC, or Object Pascal (client side or server side). You can also mix and match syntaxes to achieve whatever your goal is. It supports state-control, including the forward, back, and reload buttons, bookmarking, etc. so it doesn't break the functionality of your browser. GWT has Java support, and I believe supports state control, but I don't believe does it natively with a database, but I've only been playing with GWT since the public release, so I'm not 100% on this. 3) When Morfik was first featured on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a mere six months ago, it was met with skepticism and rancor. Now that Google has released GWT the /. tide has turned - apparently now that someone else has released a tool with a subset of the same features, it's obvious and uninteresting. Which is it? What a difference six months makes. 4) The issue isn't the release date of GWT vs. when they got a gander at Morfik. The issue is the start date of work on GWT, or Atlas, or whatever tool you're worried about vs. the date of the Patent application that everyone is complaining about, and the dates of the relevant documents that are cited in the application. Has anybody bothered to look either one up yet? Let's hypothetically say that the patent application was dated in March 2004. Now what? What about how all of this relates to Microsoft's progress on Atlas, or any of the other tools that are suddenly in development to build AJAX apps? 5) I don't see any of you asking what the relevant portions of the patent application are compared to the relevant features of GWT. Aren't these last two questions the ones that are really going to matter?

Re:Do Some Research (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15438050)

+1, Condescending

Re:Do Some Research (1)

kap1 (164828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15477432)

First, can anyone even find the patent application [pathf.com] ?

Second, I've used Morfik WebOS ApplicationBuilder (did I get the caps right? ;-) for some evaluation POC's and have some familiarity with it. Can't say I'm a big fan of it's kludgy IDE interface. Right click doesn't bring up anything useful so you're making trips to the top menu bar all the time. Hopefully, they'll clean it up soon.

It (Morfik) also isn't the sort of thing you'd want to write a little sidebar widget in, which is about all GWT seems to be good for at the moment.

Lastly, for me the choice is really about supportability. If I'm going to buy into a proprietary IDE/Framework, I'm going to pick something by a large, established company. So TibCo GI and GWT are worth considering, Morfik is not.

Patent Pending (1)

yeremein (678037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434564)

The only indication in TFA about what specific "IP rights" are allegedly being violated is Morfik's pending patent on JST ("Javascript Synthesis Technology").

What, now you can assert patents that haven't even been granted yet?! What if the patent application is denied?

BTW, I have a pending patent on replying to comments on Slashdot. You all owe me $100 per comment. BTW, I'm going to vigorously defend my intellectual property by hiring two goons named Victor and Anthony to collect my license fees. Have an nice day.

utter stupidity (1)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15434794)

It turns out there is a patent pending on Morfik's JST and today they issued a press release in defence of it.

Are we now going to see a series of patents on "translating language X into language Y" for all combinations of X and Y? Morfik's patent should be rejected, and it's a shame that the company can't be punished severely for even attempting to file such a patent.

In addition, Morfik's claims should be clearly recognized by everybody for what they are: an attempt to create far reaching new rights that would be devastating to this industry. Almost all successful products in this industry, whether open source or commercial, are to a large part based on clones or reimplementations of earlier systems. That's true for MS-DOS, Windows NT, OSX, Microsoft Office, Linux, Java, JavaScript, C, C++, and just about everything we use every day. If claims like Morfik's were allowed to stand and become widespread, the IT industry is going to turn into what the phone monopoly was to the US for many decades: overpriced and underperforming.

(I should add that I really don't care about GWT itself--Java is about as low on my list of favorite languages as JavaScript.)

The point (1)

ScornedKey (978200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435119)

I think the point here is being missed.

AJAX (its no longer a buzzword people, its essentially now in the vernacular) is still very new and on wobbly legs, but there's no denying the doors it has already opened. We're only just beginning to get a glimpse of the lands these doors lead to.

Here's a small company from the smallest, most remote state of Australia made up of a handful of developers and associated staff, and look at who appears to be sampling their wares? This is a David and Goliath situation, no?

Should the Morfik team just shrug and say "oh well, hard luck guys"? Of course they should stand up and lay claim to what they believe in. I don't think they are claiming to have IP on language translation. I believe they are standing up because they see far too many similarities in the method of translation that just shouldn't be ignored.

This is where their innovation should hold its mark. This is where they invested many years, dollars and experiments to do something that had never been done before: breaking the boundary between the desktop and the web, and making it accessible to the countless Delphi, Java, C#, Access, etc developers to step in and create. They didn't coin the term ajax, but they most certainly were among that first set of pioneers that evetually led to this name.

If GWT did its thing without any familiarity to Morfik, but the end product was the same, the guts would look completely different. They would have to, given the complexity of the end goal. I believe its this similarity of the internals that has made them stand up and claim that it is not simply a coincidence.

If everyone just lay down and allowed the big boys in when they shoved, well then there would be only one big boy. How much innovation would there be then?

Before you decide that Morfik is trying to claim innovation where it is absent, have a look at the history of Morfik itself. It's not particularly short for the industry to which it belongs. Then have a look at the history of the founders of Morfik. The innovation goes back to the early days of Windows 3.1. They have not ridden the coattails of others and then preached invention.
They have invented.

I believe they have no intention of using the "dark side" of IP. They are simply using IP for the reasons it exists.

"Intellectual property" is a confusing term (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441273)

I believe they have no intention of using the "dark side" of IP. They are simply using IP for the reasons it exists.

Use of "intellectual property" as a blanket term is the dark side [gnu.org] . It confuses patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets, which have different scopes, different durations, different requirements to defend, and more differences than I care to list. The only thing the laws subsumed under "intellectual property" have in common is that they grant some sort of exclusive right that can be transferred or licensed. People who use the "dark side" have a vested interest in such confusion, so as to increase the perceived scope of their exclusive rights.

Language Translators (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15435374)

Surely this must be more than just a language translator. Translation of a high level language to another language prior to compilation has been around for decades. Back in 1970 I wrote a program in DEC Fortran for a PDP-8 - and the steps to turn it into a running program turned it into assembly first, and then finally binary. Other such translators include the first C++ compilers that were really C++ to C translators, and of course for many years now FORTRAN compilers like F2C are really translators.

If this is all they have, they have nothing.

C for yourself, PostScript for NeWS! (1)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 8 years ago | (#15439901)

The NeWS [wikipedia.org] window system was programmed in PostScript, and was the original "AJAXian" window system, except that it used PostScript instead of JavaScript, PostScript instead of XML, and PostScript instead of DHTML, so it was much more consistent and vastly better designed than JavaScript and AJAX.

Some people didn't prefer programming directly in PostScript, so there were several projects to compile high level languages into PostScript code for NeWS:

In 1987, Dave Singer at Schlumberger wrote LispScript [google.com] , a Lisp to PostScript compiler for NeWS.

In 1988, Rehmi Post at UniPress wrote C2PS [google.com] , an C to PostScript compiler based on the Amsterdam compiler kit.

In 1992, Arthur van Hoff at the Turing Institute (the same guy who later wrote the Java compiler in Java) wrote PdB [iecc.com] , a C++ to PostScript compiler.

OpenLaszlo [openlaszlo.org] compiles the high level Laszlo programming language (which is a combination of JavaScript embedded in XML) into Flash byte codes, as well as JavaScript that runs in web browsers.

This idea has been around for a LOT longer than the term "AJAX", or the JavaScript language.

-Don

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