Over on XML.com, David Peterson gives Microsoft some well-deserved thanks for implementing and popularizing the XMLHttpRequest object that’s so useful in modern web development. He also thanks them for not charging for it, but of course, if they had tried to charge it never would have become popular (from SAX, I know that paradox well).
Death of the inventor
The second problem is that it almost never makes sense to assign credit to individual people or companies. Who should get credit for SAX? Me, because I coordinated it? James Clark, because I based many of the ideas on his earlier SGML interfaces (and he suggested many of SAX’s features)? Tim Bray, because he thought up a catchy name? The other dozens of other xml-dev members who contributed most of the core ideas? The major software vendors who actually decided to use SAX, giving it credibility outside of the xml-dev community?
Thank the users
The moral of the story is that technology success is not something that a person or company gives to the net, but something that comes back from it, as if you threw a stone at a tree without knowing whether an avalanche of silver or of bird dung would shower down from the branches onto your head. A complex, brilliant idea with no users is worthless; a simple, mediocre idea with lots of users is a treasure.