Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
Recently a software patent was brought to my attention, that on the surface might seems a great idea. And it is. EP1170667 - Software Package Verification. However, to patent it is just nonsense, as the technique has been used for many years prior to this being filed. Just about every IT company I have worked at for the last 20 years has used a home rolled software package verification application. And what about CPAN? Hasn't CPAN/CPANPLUS/Test/Test::Harness, etc been doing exactly this for nearly 10 years! Is this what would be termed 'prior art'? I doubt this patent is in any way enforceable, and is purely an attempt to increase SUN's number of patents to make them look good. Any lawsuit is likely to be as embarrassing as the SCO vs Linux debacle. The patent has been granted within a 9 month opposition window, where the grant date was 29th June 2005. Is anyone in a position to challenge them, or will it get through unopposed?
In other news the EU Software Patent Bill has been thrown out. Although this is a good move to stop software patents coming under the control of the EU governing body, it doesn't stop them being applied in individual countries. Hopefully SUN's patent and others will get challenged and those in power get to realise this isn't a good use of the patent system.