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Amazon S3 patent, I think I have some prior art on this one...

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Jul. 7th, 2007 | 01:29 am

I was just taking a look at the Amazon S3 patent mentioned on Slashdot.

I am pretty sure I have prior art on this. Take a look at this project I published back in 2000, though it was written in 1998 on Freshmeat:
http://freshmeat.net/projects/mod_repository/

It implements a REST interface, with Triggers that are used to create replicated servers of itself. It had a large deployment at SCO (yeah, chuckle...) and MySQL back as early as 2001. MySQL used it as the object store behind its Worklog system (and I think worklog which is published on Sourceforge still has hooks for it). Someone would need to ask Matt Wagner when he originally made use of it for MySQL. I'd have to search my email to find the name of the guy who ran the mod_repository cluster at SCO.

Want to hear the funny bit to this? I took the concept and wrote a module for Slashdot call Slash::Repository (or some such). I think it is running on SlashCode, and might even be backing Slashdot right now. It handles replication via MySQL. It was powering document storage on Newsforge.com and Linux.com at one point.

I find it hard to believe that I am the only person who has prior art on this patent. When I came up with the idea of mod_repository I didn't find it very revolutionary when I invented it, and I still don't think of it being that now.

None of this is meant to knock what Amazon has done, I think its pretty impressive. I am a big fan of what they are doing with AWS.

It is not new or inventive in nature though.

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Comments {5}

Artur Bergman

(no subject)

from: crucially
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 10:08 am (UTC)
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MogileFS .... :)

It seems like the patent actually is more of a business practice patent than a software patent. It is still bogus.

Did you catch my two articles on amazon?

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/06/amazon_ec2_and.html
http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/06/amzon_ec2_and_s.html

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 10:20 am (UTC)
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Would Mogile count as a REST interface?

I did catch your two articles, and I am not sure if you were in the room at Foocamp or not, but the lack of an SLA came up. Does the lack of an SLA make me nervous? Not really. Amazon is moving its own site into the AWS system, so I think that the SLA will come from that naturally. I also believe that they know if they screw one customer, that they will see a stampede away from their systems (and that I know they don't want to do, they have too much to gain from customers).


In the end though... it does bother me, but I don't know that it bothers me enough not to use them.

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Artur Bergman

(no subject)

from: crucially
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC)
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it is WebDAV, WebDAV isn't a REST interface? :)

PUT/GET

So, AWS is not a significant part of Amazon, and I don't believe a second they are moving to the same AWS instance as the rest of the customers use. I don't believe for a second that they are selling spare capacity.

I don't care about SLA really, and the new T&C is good (will do a new post on them). What bothers me is the lack of transparency.

if I was doing a web startup, would I use Amazon? Fuck yes. I have nothign to loose.

If I was an established business woudl I trust Amazon with everythign? Fuck no. I would happily use them for excess/elastic capacity and backup though.

The patent really pisses me off.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
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I just googled to see if others think that Webdav is REST, there is quite an argument there :)

I've not studied up on Mogile, I've just seen slides by Brad, so its hard for me to comment on it. For my own adventures I have been looking at Slac's Xrootd daemon.

The patent annoys me. They take out a lot of patents on basic stuff (somewhere there is a story out there about one of their earliest developers refusing to take part in patenting some URL/cookie like thing they used early on).

We need more prior art databases.

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Artur Bergman

(no subject)

from: crucially
date: Jul. 7th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
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I can see how for some parts of the patent mogile would possibly no be prior art. But definitly on all the replication stuff.

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