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Heron-Centric: Ruminations of a Language Designer
Computer Science Patents - Patented Absurdity
by Christopher Diggins
November 24, 2004
So Microsoft has applied for a new patent on the IS NOT operator in Visual Basic. I hope it is accepted, so I can openly and flagrantly violate the patent in my language, Heron.


It is hard for me to put into words the sheer absurdity of patents on algorithms. It both infuriates and amuses me. I think the best thing to do is to not give in to the fear that companies attempt to instill in us through abuse of the legal system. The only way to fight tyranny is to challenge it.

To this end, I plan on incorporating the IS NOT operator into Heron if Microsoft succeeds in patenting it. Let them come after me. Mind you they might have trouble dragging me across the border ;-)


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About the Blogger

Christopher Diggins is a software developer and freelance writer. Christopher loves programming, but is eternally frustrated by the shortcomings of modern programming languages. As would any reasonable person in his shoes, he decided to quit his day job to write his own ( ). Christopher is the co-author of the C++ Cookbook from O'Reilly. Christopher can be reached through his home page at

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2004 Christopher Diggins. All rights reserved.

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