Eolas’ Patent Discussion

A Slashdot story (Parties Behind Eolas Patent Reexam Revealed) points to Butting Heads Over the ‘906 Rebuttal, citing the Eolas reply materials to the current patent investigation:

The basic premise of Eolas’ written response is that browser developers working in 1993 and 1994 did not consider embedding interactive applications in the browser window and that the browser simply rendered static information. Felten makes the statement that Berners-Lee’s HTML specification “teaches away from the provision of rich interactivity in the browser.” Felten says that “Berners-Lee teaches a language for authoring Web pages but it does not teach how to build a browser or how a browser works.” Those statements are completely inconsistent with Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the Web. Berners-Lee talked about browsers that were equally capable of reading and writing, which goes back to Ted Nelson’s definition of hypertext as non-linear writing. In his book, “Weaving the Web,” Berners-Lee uses the phrase “browser/editor” to refer to the kind of client application he envisioned as a Web browser. He writes about his own prototyping of the first Web client, which he said was “basically like a word processor”: “By mid-November I had a point-and-click browser/editor which I called WorldWideWeb.” He goes on to say that “the browser would decode URIs, and let me read, write or edit Web pages in HTML.” This reflects the spirit of early Web development, as I recall hearing it first-hand. (Today’s wikis and weblogs seem to close to realizing this vision.)