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Re: Patent pending: Network-based classified information systems.

From: Dudley Mills <dudmills@ozemail.com.au>
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 12:13:54 +1100
Message-ID: <34ECD8D2.5D4@ozemail.com.au>
To: www-talk@w3.org
CC: Frank Atkinson <Frank@hannah.com>
Frank Atkinson <Frank@hannah.com> wrote:
> Subject: Ouch, what a buzz saw...
>    Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 15:21:36 -0500
>    From: Frank Atkinson <Frank@hannah.com>
>      To: dudmills@ozemail.com.au>
> I have been following the conversation in www-talk,
   (see www-talk Archive: http://www.w3.org/Mail/Lists.html
    topic:  "Patent pending: Network-based classified information
> I have been working along the same lines as you are suggesting and
> have had some of the same discussions you are now seeing. 
> I suspect the folks in radio sounded a little like the people who
> say you can't compete or improve on the yellow pages as TV came on
> the scene. Interesting that net folks should be the ones who fail to
> see the possibility of new marketing models, one would hope they
> haven't lost their innovative spirit so early in the game. 
> The net does seem to have an aversion to the patent, license thing,
> they feel they are part of the wild west. Meta tags won't do
> everything needed unless somehow everyone agrees on which meta tags
> to use, and there is a limit to the number of tags which can be put
> at the start of a web page before they start to be cumbersome.  
> I will continue to follow the discussion with great interest...
> Frank Atkinson                          HANNAH Online
> Hannah News Service/Rotunda Inc.        Ohio Capitol Connection
> Ph 614-228-3113                         fx: 614-228-3113
> frank@hannah.com

Thanks for this Frank. Glad to hear you have been thinking along
similar lines. Are you free to disclose your ideas? You might like
to consider a provisional patent application!

In my patent application:
I have had to be dissmissive of some quite good ideas that other
people have put forward - such is the nature of trying to distinguish
my invention over that of others. So I surpose that what is good for
the goose is also good for the gander. Unfortunately, displays of an
excess of passion by some does put off other people from making
worthwhile contributions. It would be useful if we recognised that we
are all building on the work of others. Of course, some people would
like to see their wunderkind do well just as I do.

The net "aversion to the patent, license thing" does seem prevalent
and is well represented in the w3.org. Inventor of the WWW and
director of W3C, Tim Berners-Lee, did not seek to patent his
invention. I do hope he feels adequately rewarded. We owe a debt of
gratitude to many other people who have similarly contributed. As far
as I can see, the W3C has done a fine job of helping formulate and
promulgate standards useful to industry. However, I do not think the
W3C should trying to pick or make winners and loosers - hopefully the
market might be better at that.

With regard to META (and LINK) tags, I am coming from the same
direction. They could be used for some of the things I am proposing,
particularly web page classification, but are cumbersome for things
like representing structured contact data. They have not proved
popular because they "don't do anything": that is they do not change
the appearance of a web page so they tend to be ignored by all but the
most savvy web page developers. Also they require developers to
duplicate things like contact details in the HEAD of a web page where
it tends to be forgotten about, because it can not be seen, and so
fails to be updated properly resulting in inaccurate data. That is why
I am proposing that classification, contact and geographic codes
be put in the BODY of web pages where their relationship to the
content is much clearer. I think that would dramatically improve their
chances of being widely adopted. META data in the HEAD has been
available for use for some time without gaining adequate popularity
for any serious purpose. Is putting this stuff in the BODY in context
with the content what it takes to get web page developers using it?

Kind regards,
Dudley Mills,
30 Hutchison Crescent, Kambah, ACT 2902, Australia.
phone/fax: +61-2-6296-2639
email: dudmills@ozemail.com.au
web: http://www.ozemail.com.au/~dudmills/
Received on Thursday, 19 February 1998 21:53:17 UTC

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