Movement – The Latest on The Microsoft Patent Application

Cathedral1-SmallWhen I wrote the article about the Microsoft patent application on Friday, I hoped that the visibility it might generate would help our case against this application.

It did. And much more quickly and efficiently than I expected.

It seems that Microsoft will withdraw the application. They have apologised. And all that on a weekend.

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More on the Microsoft / BlueJ patent case

Wow. That has caused a little more than a ripple.

Yesterday, I wrote the article titled “Microsoft patents BlueJ” about Microsoft’s patent application. I thought a bit of public visibility can’t hurt our case.

It certainly has generated some visibility. The story made the front pages of digg, slashdot, reddit and The article has had more than 20,000 hits in the last 24 hours.

Many people have asked me to keep them updated, so I’ll do this with a short summary.

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Microsoft patents BlueJ


Okay, okay. You know what it’s like with writing headlines: Short and catchy. Accuracy counts as a distant third.

This is my attempt at catchy headline writing. But the truth isn’t far off. It really should have said: Microsoft applies for patent for core BlueJ functionality.
And that’s really true. After blatantly copying BlueJ (without reference or attribution), Microsoft have now filed for patent for the functionality they knowingly copied from us.

Why? To sue us out of the market? To make us pay? Who knows. Sad fact is that this could destroy BlueJ.

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NetBeans / BlueJ Edition: Webcast and Article

webcast image

A while ago, I wrote about the new NetBeans IDE / BlueJ Edition. Well, no piece of software can stand on alone on its own – it also needs support from documentation, background information, tutorials, and ideally a user community to really take off.
Sun have now released two more pieces in this puzzle: A very nice article and a webcast on the Sun Developer Network.

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BlueJ features – where do we draw the line?

In a comment to an earlier entry on this page – “What’s happening with BlueJ?” – Peter Loborg mentioned a couple of features he misses in BlueJ: the ability to display the full UML details of a class in the diagram, and better support for packages.

This touches on a general point: what features should BlueJ support?

Most people agree that one of BlueJ’s main strengths is its small size (as seen by the user) and simple interface. At the same time, most people want us to include their favourite feature…

A few thoughts about feature inclusion in general and the UML feature in particular.

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NetBeans IDE / BlueJ Edition — it’s here


The NetBeans IDE / BlueJ Edition, which I wrote about in an earlier post, has now been officially released. You can download it from the NetBeans web site.

This environment gives you a great option for your second IDE, once BlueJ becomes too small for you and you’re ready for the serious stuff.

Once you’re in NetBeans, try out Matisse, the new NetBeans GUI builder. It’s nice. Believe me, worth a look.

To complete or not to complete

Some thoughts on auto-completion and auto-formatting.
At the BlueJ team, we regularly get requests for new features. Two of the most requested features are auto-completion (of method names, imports and fields) and auto-formatting (a.k.a. “pretty-printing”) of code.

We have had these discussion since the very first release of BlueJ. So far, I have always refused to include these features. Is it time to re-think?

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BlueJ Gets Teamwork Support

three BlueJsSo, I promised some updates on BlueJ development plans. Let’s see whether I can keep my good intentions at least for a day, and tell you something about what’s going on.

The most interesting new bit of functionality that we are working on for BlueJ is team work support. When this is done, student teams should be able to cooperate easily by using BlueJ.

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