I was just doing a bit of catchup reading and noticed a post on Dan Fernandez’s blog about a recently withdrawn patent that was for the Object Test Bench (OTB) that was introduced into Visual Studio 2005. Having had a bit of experience with BlueJ while tutoring at UWA I was very disappointed in the limited functionality in the OTB. In fact I would go so far as to claim that it was useless for anything but simple demonstrative examples – definitely not the production IDE quality that I would have expected (the same I must admit is true of the Class Designer).
With this in mind I was shocked to learn of the patent that they apparently “accidentally” (what rubbish) submitted. Following the link on Dan’s blog I read the post that Michael makes and his original comparison he did between the OTB and BlueJ. Seriously, if you are going to patent something (which clearly wasn’t original) you could at least make it usable!