Patently absurd: No tab panel dragging in Flash 8

I finally got around to installing Flash 8, diagnosis and so far I’m impressed with it. But thanks to an absurd patent and its subsequent enforcement, sildenafil I can’t use it in the way I expect to.

You may have noticed the problem too as soon as you started customizing your work space: What’s with this new “Group Transform with…” dropdown? And why can’t I just drag panels from one tab group to the other like I could with Flash MX 2004? Or with Photoshop?

Turns out the answer is that Adobe has patented this “drag a tab” process, ascariasis and Macromedia felt obliged to “turn it off” after Adobe sued them for violating that patent. According to the Macromedia KnowledgeBase concerning FreeHand 10:

On May 2, 2002, a U.S. jury found that Adobe’s U.S. patent number 5,546,528 regarding tabbed palettes was valid and that certain Macromedia products infringed that patent. Macromedia has respectfully complied with the court’s rulings. In relation to Macromedia FreeHand 10 in the Macromedia Studio MX, we have taken steps to implement the ruling and changed features accordingly.

But… but… Aren’t Adobe and Macromedia the same company now? And will they issue a patch to “uncripple” the tab-drag feature now that they love each other?

And will the U.S. Patent Office ever figure out that these kinds of software patents are crippling the industry?

I have no problem with copyrighting source code — in fact, the U.S. copyright laws are more than adequate to protect everything one types into a keyboard in the U.S. But patenting a process — or a “feel” — of a software product is sheer insanity.

And while we’re on the subject, did you know the patent office is actually in the business of patenting storylines for unwritten fiction now? Yep. Thanks to crap like this, you can actually patent ideas and things without actually having to do anything. Just make money suing the people who actually do.

To learn more about how you can stifle creativity, eliminate new ideas and make workflow awkward for hundreds of computer users, see the following sites:

US Patent and trademark Office

Knight & Associates – Storyline patents and plot patents

The Electronic Frontier Foundation


3 thoughts on “Patently absurd: No tab panel dragging in Flash 8”

  1. Holy crap. No, I mean, really: Holy crap. If it isn’t already taken, I think I’ll patent holy crap, then sue the pants off of Peter Griffin. Except “sue the pants off of” was going to be my story idea, but it’s probably patented now, too.

    What is wrong with these people? I’m all for protecting your inventions, but shouldn’t you at least have to get off your hinderparts and do some work before the good ol’ gub’mint hands you a patent freshly culled from it’s own posterior?! Patenting story ideas? That’s just dumb.

    Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumb.


  2. I thought that was turned off a long time ago! Are you sure that Flash 8 is the first time it’s been turned off? It’s been turned off in at least the last 3 versions of Dreamweaver. I don’t remember being able to drag the toolboxes on any version of Flash except for 5. Perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *