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[20060816] Article: What's The Greatest Software Ever Written?
Ok, I've seen this article mentioned a few times, but only after someone cited the #1 over at BSDnews did I have a closer look. To jump right to the conclusion: ``So there you have it: The single Greatest Piece of Software Ever, with the broadest impact on the world, was BSD 4.3. Other Unixes were bigger commercial successes. But as the cumulative accomplishment of the BSD systems, 4.3 represented an unmatched peak of innovation. BSD 4.3 represents the single biggest theoretical undergirder of the Internet. Moreover, the passion that surrounds Linux and open source code is a direct offshoot of the ideas that created BSD: a love for the power of computing and a belief that it should be a freely available extension of man's intellectual powers--a force that changes his place in the universe.''

So now that we know that BSD's the best since sliced bread (as if we didn't know that before :), have a look at the article to see what remains.

P.S.: Thinking more about this, I think there are a fair number of things that have continued that development of 4.3BSD: SMP, threads, greatly extended hardware platform support with many more CPUs and hardware architectures, bus and DMA space implementations to help abstract hardware, a framework to crosscompile kernel, userland and X as well as a packaging system to allow easy compiling of several thousand applications that were not written with that system in mind in the first step... that's IMHO quite a few items that continue the original 4.3BSD's impact. And all of that still freely available for everyone (including companies) to take and use.

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