C’est InformationWeek qui fait son palmarès des meilleurs logiciels jamais programmés (via un twitt de Tim O’Reilly). Selon le magazine c’est Unix qui remporte la palme. Me semble que ça devrait inspirer le gouvernement du Québec à s’ouvrir au code source libre? Mais comme nous en avons déjà discuté, les modèles d’affaires des gros fournisseurs officiels gouvernementaux ne vont peut-être pas de pair avec ce genre de considération qualitative…
Extraits de l’article What's The Greatest Software Ever Written? :
And now for The Greatest Software Ever Written–Unix.
Bell Labs often gets credit for creating the Unix operating system, but Bell never funded its development. In fact, the labs' management knew nothing about it. Bell Labs had committed developers to a multivendor project called Multics that made use of many new ideas for an operating system. But the project fell apart, and a Bell Labs participant, Ken Thompson, decided he wanted a personal version of Multics so he could write shoot-'em-up games, says Feldman (who was the No. 7 developer on the AT&T Unix project and is now president of the Association for Computing Machinery).
My No. 2 choice is IBM's System R, a research project at the company's Almaden Research Lab in San Jose, Calif., that gave rise to the relational database. In the 1970s, Edgar Codd looked at the math of set theory and conceived a way to apply it to data storage and retrieval. Sets are related elements that together make up an abstract whole. The set of colors blue, white, and red, for example, are related elements that together make up the colors of the French flag. A relational database, using set theory, can keep elements related without storing them in a separate and clearly labeled bin. It also can find all the elements of a set on an impromptu basis while knowing only one unique identifier about the set.
No. 3 is the gene-sequencing software at the Institute for Genomic Research. It isn't a mammoth software system, but "on sheer technical brilliance, it gets 10 out of 10," Morgenthaler says. The institute's sequencing system helped subdivide the task of understanding the DNA makeup of 20,000 human genes. Its breakthrough insights into the human genome and sequencing analysis, plus its ability to recombine subunits of analysis into the whole, "accelerated the science of genomics by at least a decade," Morgenthaler says. We now have the tools to begin tracing the paths of human migration out of Africa. The human genome reveals how minute the genetic differences are between ethnic groups at a time when such information is sorely needed. It gives a scientific basis for how humans can view each other as brothers at a time when we seem in danger of destroying one another. The software will be called on to perform many additional gene sequencing feats; the roots of many diseases and puzzles of heredity remain to be solved. Seldom have great research and great software been more closely intertwined.
Et voici les autres récipiendaires d’InformationWeek
4. IBM System 360 OS
5. Java language
6. Mosaic browser
7. Sabre system
8. Macintosh OS
9. Excel spreadsheet
10. Apollo guidance system
11. Google search rank
12. The Morris worm