Microsoft Patents 'IsNot'
tjreedy at udel.edu
Sat Nov 20 02:59:41 CET 2004
""Martin v. Löwis"" <martin at v.loewis.de> wrote in message
news:419E6C13.1040508 at v.loewis.de...
> Wrt. claim 3, Python is *not* prior art, because Python's operator
> is the two keywords "is not", not the single keyword "IsNot".
But, for whatever it is worth, the ref manual *does* label 'is not' as *an*
operator. In this context, 'is not' is a compound (key)word with a space
(rather than a hyphen or neither). Since English compounds can often be
written both with and without a space or hyphen, with the choice being a
matter of taste, the difference between 'IsNot' and 'Is Not' is rather
>  elaborates that the claim extends beyond the literal spelling
> they give (e.g. to "is_not", "isnot" etc.),
And 'is_not' is the CS alternate spelling of 'is not' with ' ' changed to
'_' (instead of '-') to indicate that the space is connective, forming a
compound word. In names, Python also requires, for obvious lexical
reasons, connective spaces ('_'s). Recognizing 'is not' as a unit requires
a special rule; 'is_not' might have been more consistent with the rest of
Python, but Guido was and is a keywords minimizer. Without knowing this
rule, one could easily parse 'a is not b' as 'a is (not b)' like Basic
To be, this 'patent' is so absurd that I initially had difficulty believing
to to be real and not a joke.
Terry J. Reedy
More information about the Python-list