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Re: Help: Microsoft patent covers package download and upgrade

On Tue, May 02, 2000 at 10:04:32PM +0300, arto.astala@nokia.com wrote:
> Hi all,
> Microsoft was recently granted a patent that covers a core
> part of Debian, and probably Red Hat too. (If you have
> contacts in RH you can forward this, their contact page
> seemed a bit slow in retrieval.) (If you forward this to
> public place, any other than debian-doc and debian-legal,
> please drop my name and company from mail body and headers.)
> Claim 1.
>  A computer-implemented method for updating a software
> program module component stored on a computer, the method
> comprising the steps of: 

I can't tell you if it was used by Debian before Nov97,
but method described in claim 1 is used by make over NFS,
what surely was beeing done *loooong* time before Nov97
maybe even early 1980-ties

Example providing my claim :

say that project has $PROJECT/bin and $PROJECT/src directories
$PROJECT/bin is local
$PROJECT/src is mounted via NFS

this is natural way of doing software project if a few
computers on LAN are  working on the same project.
make is run, no matter whether if via cron or manually

> a) determining whether the current date is on or after a date
>    stored at the computer; 

make checks if $PROJECT/bin/executable newer or older
    than file/files it was made of
analogy : if installed executable is newer or older than
    file/files it was made of

> b) if the current date is on or after the date stored at the
>    computer, then sending a database query from the computer
>    to a database server; 

if src is newer make via NFS wants NFS-provider to tell if file is
is readable / NFS-server works correctly etc. (by stat or open or similar)

> c) responsive to the database query, determining at the
>    database server whether an upgrade package for the software
>    program module component is available; 

NFS stats underlying filesystem or cache

> d) if an upgrade package for the software program module
>    component is available, then sending an upgrade package
>    message from the database server to the computer; 

NFS-provider sends answer if file is ok or not

> e) responsive to the upgrade package message, sending an
>    upgrade package query from the computer to a package
>    server; and 

make calls read(2) which is send to NFS

> f) in response to receiving the upgrade package query,
>    retrieving the upgrade package at the package server
>    and sending the upgrade package to the computer. 

NFS sends file to make

> Further claims cover e.g. doing the upgrade and updating
> the registry (=dpkg database).

Finding someone who used this way before 1997 should be easy.
Little linguistic problems with this description should be fixed.
Then bogus patent can be shut down.
How glad there is no such thing in Europe.

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