[self-interest] Self 4.4 and patents issue

Russell Allen mail at russell-allen.com
Mon Jun 29 02:24:17 UTC 2009

Hi Carter,

I'm not sure that you can ever be 100% safe from patents in the modern 

I can say that it is feasible to create a project with Self's 
optimisation techniques and release it under a OSS licence because that 
is precisely what Self is! As well, a number of OSS and commercial 
virtual machines have incorporated elements from Self's compilation 
strategies over the years, including Google's V8, Strongtalk and the now 
open source Java VM.

(This of course isn't legal advice - if you are doing something 
commercially that might attract the attention of patent trolls then 
consult a good patent attorney twice a day before meals and get plenty 
of healthy outdoors exercise. But that advice applies to everything, not 
just Self :)

Are you thinking of embedding the Self VM itself, or writing a new VM 
from scratch for a Self-like language?



Carter Cheng wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been thinking about doing some implementation work and writing a 
> self like system where self is the embedded language. I am curious to 
> what extent the ideas in self are patented or in the public domain 
> (especially w.r.t. various optimization techniques described in the 
> literature). Is it feasible to undertake such a project and release it 
> under an OSS licence?
> Thanks in advance,
> Carter.

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