Apple Wins a Vital Software Component System Patent, More
On February 6, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two of Apple’s newly granted patents respectfully titled Extensible, replaceable network component system and Multi-language document search and retrieval system. The former is interestingly the patent which dates back to the one time Taligent/TalOS project stemming from the Apple-IBM PowerPC Alliance. The component architecture described herein allows the component architecture to exist either side-by-side a native operating system or on multiple platforms that employ different operating systems. Although the original architecture was designed to work with the OpenDoc component architecture, the patent also indicates that other frameworks such as the NeXT Step App Kit could be utilized. It is believed that Apple’s current collection of internet applications such as iTunes, iWeb and so forth are a by-product of the architecture described herein.
Extensible, replaceable network component system
Apple’s Abstract: An extensible and replaceable network-oriented component system provides a platform for developing networking navigation components that operate on a variety of hardware and software computer systems. These navigation components include key integrating components along with components configured to deliver conventional services directed to computer networks, such as Gopher-specific and Web-specific components. Communication among these components is achieved through novel application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate integration with an underlying software component architecture. Such a high-modular cooperating layered-arrangement between the network component system and the component architecture allows any existing component to be replaced, and allows new components to be added, without affecting operation of the network component system.
Network-Oriented Component System
As noted, the present invention is based on a modular document computing arrangement as provided by an underlying software components architecture, rather than the typical application-based environment of prior computing systems. Apple’s patent FIG. 4 is a highly schematized diagram of the hardware and software elements of a layered component computing arrangement 400 that includes the novel network-oriented component system of the invention. At the lowest level there is the computer hardware, shown as layer 410. Interfacing with the hardware is a conventional operating system layer 420 that includes a window manager, a graphic system, a file system and network-specific interfacing, such as a TCP/IP protocol stack and an Apple-talk protocol stack.
The software component architecture is preferably implemented as a component architecture layer 430. Although it is shown as overlaying the operating system 420, the component architecture layer 430 is actually independent of the operating system and, more precisely, resides side-by-side with the operating system. This relationship allows the component architecture to exist on multiple platforms that employ different operating systems.
Multi-language document search and retrieval system
Apple’s Abstract: A multi-lingual indexing and search system performs tokenization and stemming in a manner which is independent of whether index entries and search terms appear as words in a dictionary. During the tokenization phase of the process, a string of text is separated into individual word tokens, and predetermined types of tokens are eliminated from further processing. The stemming phase of the process reduces words to grammatical stems by removing known word-endings associated with the various languages to be supported. Known word endings are removed from the word tokens without any effort to guarantee that the remaining stem is contained in a dictionary. In a preferred implementation, the stemming process is only applied to nouns.
For further information on these patents, please refer to the following hyperlinks: Extensible, replaceable network component system, Multi-language document search and retrieval system.
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Written and researched by Neo.