Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd May 2014 20:03 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y

So I set myself the task of picking five great works of software. The criteria were simple: How long had it been around? Did people directly interact with it every day? Did people use it to do something meaningful? I came up with the office suite Microsoft Office, the image editor Photoshop, the videogame Pac-Man, the operating system Unix, and the text editor Emacs.

Each person has his or her own criteria for these sorts of things, but in my view, this list is woefully inadequate. If it were up to me, I would pick these, in no particular order:

  • A-0 System: the first ever compiler, written by Grace Hopper in 1951 and 1952, for the UNIVAC I.
  • UNIX: This one's a given.
  • WorldWideWeb/CERN HTTPd: the first web browser and the first web server, both written by Tim Berners-Lee. Also a given.
  • Xerox Star: this one is actually a tie between the Star, its research predecessor the Alto, and Douglas Engelbart's NLS. These three combined still define the way we do computing today - whether you look at a desktop, a smartphone, or a tablet. I decided to go with the Star because it was the only one of the three that was commercially available, and because it's so incredibly similar to what we still use today.
  • Windows: you cannot have a list of the greatest software of all time without Windows. You may not like it, you may even hate it, but the impact Windows has had on the computing world - and far, far beyond that - is immense. Not including it is a huge disservice to the operating system that put a computer on every desk, in every home.

This leaves a whole bunch of others out, such as Lotus 1-2-3, DOS, the Mac OS, Linux, and god knows what else - but such is the nature of lists like this.

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The great works
by Nth_Man on Fri 2nd May 2014 21:08 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

> 'The great works of software'

> [...] Windows: you cannot have a list of the greatest
> software of all time without Windows. You may not like it,
> you may even hate it, but the impact Windows has had on
> the computing world - and far, far beyond that - is immense.

The list was about the "great works", not the ones that had more "impact". One thing can be very used and, at the same time, not a "great work".

It's like:

'The great restaurants'

[...] McDonalds: you cannot have a list of the greatest restaurants of all time without McDonalds. You may not like it, you may even hate it, but the impact McDonalds has had is immense.

That really demonstrates that one thing can be very used and not a "great work". If it was otherwise, it would be a huge disservice to the real great works.

Edited 2014-05-02 21:16 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: The great works
by shotsman on Sat 3rd May 2014 05:43 in reply to "The great works"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

To call that thing with the Golden Arches a Restaurant is an insult to almost every other establishment that uses that name on the planet.
The same goes for BK, KFC etc.
They are all in the same category as the Burger Van at a IndyCar meeting.

That does digress from the thread.

Windows copied lots from VMS. They got caught nicking stuff and had to pay (if my memory serves me right) about a Billion in damages. Then they hired Cutler and a few more from DEC. IMO there is no way Windows should be on the list. It is nothing more than a badly cobbled together POS. Sadly most of us have to use it on a daily basis but that latter reason is nowhere near good enough to get it included in this list.

Reply Parent Score: 2