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Fwd: [Re: Call for prior art on Patent 5,764,992]

From: Rigo Wenning <rigo@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 14:38:03 +0200
To: public-widgets-pag@w3.org
Message-Id: <200906181438.03941.rigo@w3.org>
I received the following information privately:

  One of the precessors of the World Wide Web was a software
  (probably a REXX script running on IBM VM/CMS mainframes), that
  each night checked on a server on the Cern site (must have been
  cernvm.bitnet) if any new software versions or preprints were
  available. If so, it automatically downloaded their source
  (Fortran77 or LateX), compiled them and stored the result
  locally. This was used worldwide in all university groups who
  collaborated for the Opal detector of the LEP ring, the
  precessor of the LHC. It was in use at least already in
  1994, probably earlier. It wasn't 100% reliable and wasn't easy
  to set up, so some groups worked with old software versions,
  which caused problems. Thus there was a need to establish better
  means of communication. This inspired Tim Berners-Lee to invent
  the World Wide Web.  But I don't know if he knew about the
  specific 'solution' of Opal, becasue he was then in the Cern
  computer center, responsible for helping all Cern users, not
  just that detector of that experiment. The current head of the
  Cern, Rolf Heuer, was a leading member of Opal at this time. He
  probably knows more about it.


Received on Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:38:36 GMT

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