By Kenneth Nichols
From the 1st traces of the preface of this paintings by way of Kenneth Nichols, it's obvious that what was once in the beginning deliberate to be of extra concise scope grew right into a dialogue of all issues linked to software program patents, and therein lies the rub. it truly is attention-grabbing that the writer notes in precisely the second one sentence that he "came to the realization that the details of the controversy [within the programming group over the desirability and supreme impact of software program patents]...are now not that fascinating or enlightening". relatively? i locate it ordinary that somebody with a J.D. and an M.S. in laptop technology could make the sort of assertion. after all, his follow-up assertion that the "larger and extra vital tale" includes the truth that "software improvement is a brand new form of inventive task, person who defies the neat and collectively unique categorizations of highbrow attempt as both creative or medical" will be precise, Frederick P. Brooks wrote commonly in this subject in his vintage tome on software program engineering lengthy prior to the USPTO accredited the submitting of comparable patents. thankfully, Nichols dedicates such a lot of his paintings to the extra uninteresting material, even supposing regrettably the reasons supplied are a section dull themselves. placing apart the truth that this booklet was once written within the overdue Nineteen Nineties, notwithstanding, there's a lot to provide right here to the pro software program engineer in addition to the non-technical administration group linked to software program pursuits of this nature. for instance, the author's concise 20-page advent introduces good a lot of the historical past subject material. Nichols additionally discusses good the subjects of algorithms, programming, computing device technology, software program engineering, and the way patents slot in with this universe. the center of the textual content, the 3rd bankruptcy which offers numerous software program patent examples, besides the fact that, is particularly poorly built for my part, even though the reason in its first few pages on significant phrases akin to "novelty" and "nonobviousness" is concisely written. The diagram only if depicts thoughts on the topic of nonobviousness, written within the form of a Venn diagram, is mainly well matched for the dialogue. The fourth bankruptcy covers the software program patent controversy, and the reader is definitely rewarded in my view while achieving this element within the ebook after 50 pages of rambling. it really is unusual that the 7th bankruptcy is devoted to a definition of programming, a dialogue most suitable for the introductory pages of the ebook, even supposing many of the prices supplied in those pages are really enjoyable, comparable to the W. Saba quote from an IEEE periodical that "hardware engineers have long past extra than their software program opposite numbers simply because layout grew to become a science...Unlike engineers, software program engineers nonetheless deal in magic and witchcraft". apparently adequate, it used to be only in the near past that The Economist mentioned the emergence of laptop technology because the foundational department of technological know-how. final of all, whereas the 6th bankruptcy boldly starts through proclaiming "we've ultimately come to the nice half" since it offers with innovations for software program builders, simply 6 pages are devoted to the topic! If Nichols is to put in writing extra on software program patents, i like to recommend a whole ebook devoted to ideas.