• Issue #22: The Cloud

    Somebody Else’s Computer As A Service

    In November 12, 1990, a 35 year-old Bill Gates introduced his “Information at your Fingertips” concept during his keynote at COMDEX. The PC, he said, would become “more personal,” integrating “fax, voice and electronic mail,” and providing “easy access to a broad range of information.” More or less at the same time, Tim Berners-Lee was giving the final touches to the first web browser and web server software ever put in production. Bill Gates was right; as any Internet user can easily confirm 30 years later, PCs become much more interesting when you connect them to other computers. Or, as they call it, “The Cloud.”

  • Issue #22: The Cloud,  Library

    Brian Kernighan

    Of all the articles I have written in this “Library” section, this has been by far the most difficult to write of them all. It is extremely hard to summarize in a thousand words the major achievements of a person that has defined the way our modern world and our industry work, in the most unfathomable ways. Because, to be honest, it is hard to find a starting place when talking about those who have such long resumés as Mr. Kernighan. Let us try to find some starting points and see where this takes us. Let us pick one major milestone: this is the person who gave UNIX its name.…

  • Issue #21: Open Source

    Issue #21: Open Source

    Welcome to the twenty-first issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Open Source. In this edition, Graham explores the implications behind the distinction between "free" and "open source" software; Adrian argues that the common discussions about free and open source software are a distraction at best; and in the Library section, Graham celebrates the unnamed authors of free and open source documentation.

  • Issue #21: Open Source

    Open Always Wins

    Few debates in the computer industry are as passionate as those around Free and Open Source Software (otherwise referred to as "FOSS") and how it "benefits society" or promotes "ethics" or some other optimist outcome for the future of mankind. The problem is that this ongoing debate for the past 20 years has only served the purpose of making people look in the wrong direction.