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Charles Young
Here's a little useless trivia.   Just under a month ago (27th September to be precise), The US Patent & Trademark Office granted patent 6,951,022 to Microsoft Corporation.   Filed on March 14th 2001, it had taken a little while to go through the system.   The patent was for ...drum roll please... "Delegate-based event handling".   So now we really can be sure that's one C# feature Java won't have for a very long time! Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 7:03 PM Microsoft watch | Back to top


Comments on this post: A little triva...

# re: A little triva...
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actually, Java (or rather J++) got it first I think. Patent must have been filed after they failed to get buy-in from Sun back in '98.
Left by Jon Fancey on Nov 02, 2005 8:39 AM

# re: A little triva...
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Oh yes. I'd forgotten about J++. You are quite right. Sun published a paper, which is probably still available somewhere on their site, describing in great detail why delegates were a great Microsoft evil foisted on an unsuspecting and innocent world, and would be resisted to their dying breath by the forces of light and goodness that inhabit planet Java! Actually, as I recall, and to be fair, one of the central points they made was that delegates are inefficient UNLESS you build specialised support for them directly into the runtime environment, which is exactly what Microsoft has done in the .NET runtime. Hence, in order to adopt delegates into Java, it would be necessary to make fundamental changes to the JRE spec which Sun did not want to do. Indeed, this is a major difference of approach between the two companies. Sun has made as few changes as possible to the JRE spec, and has, we are told, now ‘frozen’ the spec for all time. Microsoft feel free to introduce major changes, most notably next weeks’ launch of version 2.0. So, for example, Microsoft’s generics work only in version 2.0 of their framework, whilst Java’s generics work on existing JRE implementations without requiring disruptive upgrades. However, Microsoft’s implementation is significantly more functional and efficient than Java’s. Swings and roundabouts… Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
Left by Charles Young on Nov 02, 2005 8:56 AM

# re: A little triva...
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I remember Sun's paper too. I can't recall what their conclusion was but I definately remember the 'delegates are evil' overtones as you do. I wouldn't be surprised if that paper's been lost to the sands of time...
Left by Jon Fancey on Nov 07, 2005 7:06 AM

# re: A little triva...
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Hey...It's still there! Try java.sun.com/docs/white/delegates.html

I love the loaded reference to Borland in the first part of the document. Borland's experience of 'bound method references' was, of course, all to do with Delphi's special handling of Windows events - a feature introduced by Delphi's 'chief architect', one Anders Hejlsburg. Now...where have I heard that name more recently?
Left by Charles Young on Nov 07, 2005 12:10 PM

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