Indeed - lets look at that:
What is claimed is:
> 1. A method in a computer system for processing a message having a sequence of packets, the method > comprising:
> providing a plurality of components, each component being a software routine for converting data > with an input format into data with an output format;
Every file convertor ever written does this part. Nothing new here.
> for the first packet of the message,
This is standard patentese - it does not mean anything
> identifying a sequence of components for processing the packets of the message such that the
> output format of the components of the sequence match the input format of the next component in
> the sequence; and
So, this is claiming the ability to recognize a sequence of components that need to run to do the conversion from the first packet. But this is just a function of the input data. It just means the data is "flat" in some sense. Absolutely nothing new here.
> storing an indication of each of the identified components so that the sequence does not need to
> be re-identified for subsequent packets of the message; and
> for each of a plurality of packets of the message in sequence,
> for each of a plurality of components in the identified sequence,
> retrieving state information relating to performing the processing of the component with the > > previous packet of the message;
So this looks like a claim on software pipelining. You do a bit of processing, save some state, and send the data on its way. There must be hundreds of uses of this prior to 1999. Its probably even in the textbooks in 1999.
> performing the processing of the identified component with the packet and the retrieved state information; and
> storing state information relating to the processing of the component with the packet for use when processing the next packet of the message
Well, yeah, how else would you do it?