Self 4.4 and patents issue

Carter Cheng carter_cheng at
Mon Jun 29 10:09:16 UTC 2009

Thanks for the reply. I am currently thinking of implementing my own "runtime" system which uses self as the programming language of choice to interface with the system. I suspect just embedding the current VM given my requirements may not work that well. 

One follow up question (if you don't mind)- is there a changelog detailing the changes between Self 4.1 (described by the pdf) and Self 4.4? How substantial are these changes?

Thanks again,


--- In self-interest at, Russell Allen <mail at ...> wrote:
> Hi Carter,
> I'm not sure that you can ever be 100% safe from patents in the modern 
> world...
> 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?
> Cheers,
> Russell
> 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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