January 26, 2004

OSS-like development method patented

Philip Rabne writes "I ran across this today and though you might find it mildly interesting. United States Patent # 6,658,642 was issued to Megiddo , et al. on December 2, 2003. The Assignee was none other than International Business Machines Corporation of Armonk, NY.

This patent provides for a System, method and program product for software development.


A system, method and program product for computer program development. A new computer program to be developed is outlined and the outline organized to identify required modules. Required modules are provided to the system, which categorizes them and posts a list of required modules with corresponding requirements on, for example, a dedicated web site. Module requirements may include module specifications, a corresponding price and a deadline. Software developers intending to participate may provide an intention to submit. If fewer than two developers intend to submit module candidates for one or more required modules, the computer program outline may be reorganized to encourage more participants. For each required module where at least two module candidates are received, the candidates are tested for compliance with corresponding module requirements. A module candidate is selected for each required module for inclusion as a module included in the software package and payment is transferred to
developers of the selected module candidates. The selected module, candidates may be included in the computer program and the computer program may be tested.

Now I'm not a programmer but, this looks like an OpenSource software development method which explains much of the interest in OSS (particularly Linux) shown by IBM, SCO, Novell and Microsoft.


Link: patft.uspto.gov


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