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Tim Bray's Top Twenty Software People in the World

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the li-nus-li-nus-li-nus-li-nus dept.

Programming 418

jg21 writes "Although this reader-compiled list of software development's giants omits pioneers like George Boole, John Louis von Neumann, and the 'Forgotten Father of the Computer' John Vincent Atanasoff - among others - it does a pretty good job of mapping the Code Masters, from Alan Turing who gave us the algorithm, to Klaus Knopper the one-man band behind Knoppix. They're mostly here - the inventors of C, C++, C#, Java, and Python; example. There are a couple of programmers who have snuck in more for their business acumen than their programming talent, like the former Powersoft/Sybase CEO Mitchell Kertzman but otherwise the 40 nominees seem pretty 'pure' and the overall idea is to narrow the list down to the Top Twenty Software People in the World - a phrase invented by Tim Bray, who blogged that Adam Bosworth would be among them. Be careful what you wish for when blogging - looks like Bray's about to find out who the community thinks the the 19 others are."

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Ada Lovelace? (5, Interesting)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059549)

Where be she?

Re:Ada Lovelace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059567)

She'd certainly make a better token female than "Former programmer, now a partner at some Vulture Capital firm noone has heard of".

Re:Ada Lovelace? (4, Insightful)

Dammital (220641) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059622)

Good catch, Nine Tenths. The Lady Ada [wikipedia.org] was the first person I thought of. Yet they, struggling to find a token woman for their list, come up with some venture capitalist that nobody has ever heard of outside of Silly Valley?

Yeah, these "top ten" lists are a crock.

Re:Ada Lovelace? (5, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059655)

Yet they, struggling to find a token woman for their list, come up with some venture capitalist that nobody has ever heard of outside of Silly Valley?

Not even Grace Hopper [wikipedia.org] , developer of the first compiled high level programming language? Sheesh.

Grace Hopper (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059735)

Grace Hopper beats anyone on this list, frankly. There's more COBOL doing more real work right now (like debiting and crediting your bank accounts) than, say, Turbo Pascal and C#. (Come on.) And that's decades after her innovation.

Re:Ada Lovelace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059651)

Where be she?

Women don't get credit the credit that they deserve in the sciences. Why should software be any different?

Re:Ada Lovelace? (1)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059658)

According the book "The Difference Engine" by Swade she didn't contribute all that much. She was more of a hanger-on who enjoyed listening to Babbage's lectures and then writing about them. She was more of a promoter than anything else. She could definitely make a list of the Top Twenty Hardware Reviewers.

Re:Ada Lovelace? (1)

bonzoesc (155812) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059727)

And according to the book "The Difference Engine" by Gibson they all raced steam-powered cars and had crazy adventures with gold-plated punchcards.

Reminds me of TV & SMS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059712)

She's intentionally left out.

It's really kind of funny. By 'forgetting' half the people of any weight whatsoever, these guys have guaranteed themselves a lot of publicity among nerds.

It's kind of like some TV shows we have in Norway, where the audience at home is encouraged to send text messages to win a prize or whatever (participation for a small fee, of course).

A lot of them involve a question being asked which is ludicrously simple. Initially, it's worded as though it's supposed to be really hard. Then they start adding hints in such a way that even the densest of watchers will feel smart when the answer dawns on them.

Which all results in a lot of money.

In this case, the money comes from the ads...look at all the sponsored links. How much have they made from this slashdotting?

Ada Lovelace -- Born December 10, 1815 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059739)

We can't let December pass without wishing a birthday greetings to the mother of modern computing, Ada Lovelace. [adahome.com]

Ada Lovelace, 189 years young.

damn... (5, Funny)

dynoman7 (188589) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059555)

...didn't make the list again.

Sys Admins Protest! (5, Insightful)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059557)

Where's Larry Wall?

Re:Sys Admins Protest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059558)

You, sir, are both a thief and a murderer, for you have killed a baboon and stolen his face

Re:Sys Admins Protest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059589)

Perhaps hes tending to his mongrel dog...

Perl has done a great dis-service to the software industry.

There are many ways to skin a cat, but only one optimal way.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059599)

SysAdmins are just janitors. Its a job that requires very little skill. Scripting languages (and Perl in particular) are just toys that let SysAdmins play at being programmers.

If you really want to be a programmer, I guess you shouldn't have dropped out of high school.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059635)

So I guess your pretty pissed that your MSc.CS SA can script together a functional program in python, document it in xml well within the hour while you where spending the day figuring out a UML and where to find the right button in your Visual Studio?

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059668)

Get real. If an application is complicated enough to warrent full UML, then doing it in a toy language without proper documentation will result in an ugly, unmaintainable hack job. Sure, it may work (some sysAdmins can code, sort of), but it will be a kludge.

In general, SysAdmins are not Software Engineers. They are code-monkeys.

Re:Sys Admins Protest! (2, Interesting)

binary42 (801099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059613)

That and where is Yukihiro Matsumoto? I would be nowhere today without the three scripting language fathers.

Oh well... the list would be too long as there are many more that i can think of.

Re:Sys Admins Protest! (1)

axehind (518047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059614)

I second this protest! Where's Larry Wall?

Larry Wall? (1)

dos_dude (521098) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059559)

Come on now! Guido is on that list.

Re:Larry Wall? (1)

trinity93 (215227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059784)

Who ever wrote this list is on crack if they are gona omit Larry

VisiCalc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059569)

Creator and Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet. Come on, those spreadsheet where way better on other platforms before they made VisiCalc. Also, if it was'nt for them, someone else would had done it. Nothing special about this.

Female hackers (3, Funny)

AirLace (86148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059570)

I'm finding it difficult to see any non-male names on that list. Discuss.

Re:Female hackers (1)

BristolCream (102658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059579)

How many females do you knwo that like to sit in their garage on a sunday and tincker with a car? The same theory applies to software by and large; it's all about boys and toys.

Re:Female hackers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059591)

A woman's place is under the computer desk, not behind it.

Re:Female hackers (4, Interesting)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059596)

your post made me think of an interesting cultural thing about japan i heard here (in japan)

typing was always considered "women's work" so when computers came about, and computers were equated with typing, so computers became "women's tools" by extension

only recently have computers become popular with men...one reason is that cute girls are featured on the covers of many computer magazines...much like hot rod magazines in the states

except personally i prefer the girls in the computer magazines

K&R not credited for C? (5, Insightful)

marcovje (205102) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059576)


Do we want to forget C nowadays or so?

Re:K&R not credited for C? (1)

Anime_Fan (636798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059603)

They are credited for their work on C... If you check the detailed information.

A shame Ritchie is only listed as coinventor of UNIX on the main page. Still, most C programmers know their names and will vote anyways.

Re:K&R not credited for C? (1)

frankvl (817911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059641)

Yes forget C!! we got c++ and java!

Oh, wait...

Re:K&R not credited for C? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059732)

So what about Martin Richards, who designed BCPL?

Re:K&R not credited for C? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059671)

Agreed; i would've liked to see them credited for C in the main page. Seems like a major oversight; after all, C is still one of the most popular languages of the world, if not the most popular.

But then again, there're a lot of people missing in that list: Knuth, Lovelace, Von Neumman, Babbage....

Knuth (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059577)

Knuth, like alot of these "top twenty", are just Ivory Tower acadamics with no real applications in industry. Where is Bill Gates? He bought computing to the people. Whoever made VB should also be mentioned.

Re:Knuth (1)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059588)

Did Bill Gates actually wrote software?

Re:Knuth (1)

WWE-TicK (593858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059768)

Yes he did. He wrote the first BASIC interpreters Microsoft sold in the early days of the company.

Re:Knuth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059595)

Shut up troll.

Re:Knuth (1)

binary42 (801099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059632)

That reminds me, my dad used to tell me stories about some of his classmates at the airforce academy. One of them was the VB guy... he's asleep right now so I won't bother him. Google and find it. Grady Booch also went to the Airforce Academy (one year ahead of my dads class). That was back when Comp. Sci. was just part of Aerospace Eng. at the academy (good old punch cards :s ).

Re:Knuth (1)

Cicero (11014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059677)

Knuth, like alot of these "top twenty", are just Ivory Tower acadamics with no real applications in industry.

You must not know much about computerized typesetting. Try gooling "TeX" or "Metafont".

Re:Knuth (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059694)

Knuth, like alot of these "top twenty", are just Ivory Tower acadamics with no real applications in industry. Where is Bill Gates? He bought computing to the people. Whoever made VB should also be mentioned.

Sorry, a lot of people consider TeX to be a very important, "real application". So what if the industry it is most important to (production of technical documents) is one that you don't consider important?

Gates' programming work is all highly derivitive. He mainly worked on MS's BASIC interpreter, I believe. Nothing brilliant. You'll note, however, that Dave Cutler, author of the Windows NT kernel (and thus Win2K and WinXP by extension) _is_ on the list. That's software to the people.

somethings missing... (2, Funny)

i88i (720935) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059582)

...where's the cowboyneal option?

That fits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059583)

Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash"

It's sad (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059586)

It's a pity that, nearly half a century since Turing was driven to suicide by poison apple, being gay is still such a big issue that many coders are afraid to "come out", afraid of the intolerance, afraid of the flaming, and afraid of being looked down on by their peers.

I, personally, know several practising homosexuals on a variety of Open Source projects who simply deny their nature to fit in with the overall its-all-just-fun gay bashing "f4gg0RT" repartee on places like Slashdot and major mailing lists. They are represented at the highest levels of software development, including two major contributors and maintainers of the Linux kernel.

In many ways the subculture of Open Source software has some catching up to do: it's amateur userbase tolerates the neolithic attitudes towards women and gays that mainstream society has rid itself of years ago.

I fully expect, as usual, to be modded down for this post. Posting anonymously: had to change username to avoid harassment after the last post.

Re:It's sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059590)

Programmers are just pissed cause they can't get laid.

Re:It's sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059720)

I would imagine Turing would prefer to be remembered for his work, more than as a "token gay geek".

I have to agree (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059791)

I have the utmost respect for Turing, as he was a glowing example of gaining respect in the CompSci field despite prejudice (although it did end nastily). Being a part of the F/OSS community and being gay, I always have the feeling that any respect that I've gained would just trickle away if I came out. However, this seems to be an issue with the 'net in general [bar the specifically pro-gay communities] rather than just F/OSS. Being a moderator on a couple of compsec forums where we have the constant flow of kiddies wanting to "h4Xx0r teh f4g's M$N", I find it increasingly difficult to deal with such situations and control my anger without inadvertently coming out. It's especially hard when respected members do it too as this seems to make it "ok" - monkey see, monkey do. Then again, that's probably an occupational hazard of dealing with prejudice anywhere, not just the 'net.

What about computer scientists? (5, Insightful)

roxtar (795844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059597)

I havent gone throught the list thoroughly but of the names I have seen I havent come to notice the names of emminent personalities from the academic world. Names like that of Donald E Knuth are missing from the list. The list consists of people who have made software which went on to become big. But that wouldn't have been possible without the academic research put in.

Re:What about computer scientists? (1)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059620)

Tanenbaum is on the list.. However, this is a list that takes the main people into account. It's not like Linus Torvalds did everything on his own, and all of them probably based a lot of their stuff on research, but these are the guys who are credited for the work and got it into the open.

bah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059598)

The list is mostly of "computer pop artists". Where's McCarthy? (discoverer of lisp, the single most influential language in computing). Where's Pierce and Cardelli? Where's Church? How can you have Turing but not Church? That's stupid. It's not called the Church-Turing thesis for nothing, you know.

WTF is a shyster like de Icaza (attempted to bring the worst features of windows to linux) doing on a list with Mitch Kapor (discovered the spreadsheet)?

But its a java mag... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059678)

You should expect to see some bias towards java and vaguely similar languages. Probably not many java hackers know/like lisp

Sorry I may be very ignorant but I've never heard of Pierce or Cardelli. Care to post links?

Re:But its a java mag... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059708)

Probably not many java hackers know/like lisp

Strange, considering the (intentional) similarity that the Java VM has to a LISP machine.

Maybe the list should be split... (1)

finnw (415539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059600)

...into two parts.
1. Early pioneers (Turing etc), and possibly designers of the languages (C etc) that have stood the test of time.

This list will probably be roughly the same this time next year.

2. Inventors of recent, fashionable languages & technologies (better not mention them by name though)

This list will probably look very different this time next year.

Re:Maybe the list should be split... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059721)

Agreed. Although over time people with currently-hyped projects may pass over onto the first list, rather than drop off the second list. E.g., I'd currently put both Tim Bray and Guido van Rossum (and perhaps Linus Torvalds) on your second list, but I'd seriously expect them to move to the first over the next 5-10 years.

Re:Maybe the list should be split... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059744)

I doubt it (Bray that is). XML has done the industry more harm than good. What we need is a list of software "ogres" - Bray, Gates, Wall etc. And whoever invented SQL.

Re:Maybe the list should be split... (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059770)

(better not mention them by name though)

What? Should we use their Slashdot Usernames?

What I meant was (1)

finnw (415539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059788)

I wouldn't want to start a flame war by implying that certain languages/technologies are passing fads :-)

Needs more ads. (1)

Mikesch (31341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059601)

There aren't enough ads on that page, I can still see some content.

Re:Needs more ads. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059706)

There aren't enough ads on that page, I can still see some content.

It's still just a Release Candidate. Submit a bug report, and as always. . .

Show me the ads!

KFG

knuth? (4, Insightful)

sangudu (728504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059604)

What about Knuth?
He is the worlds best programmer ever and creator
of tex and metafont systems in which most of
academic publications are done.
His works have taugth todays software engineers
algorithms data structures and algorithm analysis.
Bad that he missed out.

Re:knuth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059631)

Damn straight!

Great Computer Scientists (4, Insightful)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059605)

There are some recent technologists, but I think others have made great contributions to computer science:

Charles Babbage - inventor of ther difference Engine
Ada Lovelace - first programmer
John von Neumann - random access macines
John Backus - Fortran, BNF, compiler design
Don Knuth - "The Art of Computer Programming", algorithm design
as well as McCarthy & Alan Robinson(AI), Dijstra (structured programming, semaphores), Hoare (CSP)

Re:Great Computer Scientists (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059654)

Hear, hear!

I think it's rampantly clueless to omit (esp.) Von Neumann and Knuth from this list.

Re:Great Computer Scientists (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059718)

Charles Babbage's Difference Engine isn't really that much about programming, in spite of the book by Gibson/Sterling. His Analytical Engine is more like it, but this one never got built, being too complex for mid-19th-century mechanics.

Calling Ada Lovelace the first programmer is a bit off, too. She wrote a translation of Babbage's work along with a commentary on how to build the Analytical Engine, including some notes on how it might be programmed, but then, the machine she's supposed to have been programming didn't even exist. Even though her work wasn't really that influential in the long run (similar to Babbage's), she was one of the first to actually reflect on how such a machine might be programmed, though. And she was probably the first female geek in recorded history. ;)

great scientists indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059740)

you're absolutely right
I think it spells Dijkstra though.

Now at Google (1)

Daniel Ellard (799842) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059607)

I find it a bit odd that for some people, their main qualification is what they have done, and for others it is where they work now. Does it really matter that so-and-so is now with Google, Sun, Microsoft, etc?

To make matters worse, they got wrong the only one that might actually matter: Danny Hillis founded Thinking Machines, not "Think Machines". Huge difference.

Anastoff??? (0, Flamebait)

qtp (461286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059616)

jg21, you must be from Iowa.

Game Programmers? (4, Interesting)

deconvolution (715827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059618)

Where is John Carmack and other game programmers (fill your favourite game designer here)???

I couldnt understand why he is not greater and more important than such as Don Ferguson: Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM, or even Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash". ???

Is flash a ground-breaking application like 3D game/movie engine development? At least, 95% flahes i ve seen is for annoying web adverts...

Re:Game Programmers? (1)

binary42 (801099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059650)

Just like art, people in academics (try to) look down on professionals. Many of these people were on research teams (commercial but still research) while carmack was out to make a buck. I agree though.

The "father of flash" and a few others are exceptions. I guess they were lucky.

Like I said above: The list would be huge if every deserving person was on it.

Re:Game Programmers? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059679)

Game programmers tend to be overlooked as "less serious", for some reason beyond me - if you happen to think that, try counting all the time you spent playing games and tell me they aren't important. Also, if anyone is constantly pushing the envelope of what can be done with computers, specially graphically, is them.

Carmack is one hell of a developer; i've only had chance to check the Quake I/II code, but it was very well written. Not to mention his constant desire to evolve in his area.

Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash" (1)

Jules Labrie (756572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059633)

... Well I don't know if all these animated Flash ads are a real progress in the computer world... But Flash surely makes more money to the author of the article than Knuth's researchs !!! Half of the /. readers could write a better list. Don't deserve an article !

Re:Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059696)

What? Flash was invented by some gay called Gay? Well, that sort of makes sense... I always thought these pesky annoying flashy ads were gay.

Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Re:Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash" (0, Offtopic)

Jules Labrie (756572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059762)

Well, I didn't write it to make such out of place remarks. I just only wanted to point out that the content of this list is not accurate ; or rather could I say, this list is more a ranking of the best-know or most-loved hackers than of the best ones.

About Jon Gay, I agree with that post [slashdot.org] .

The Top 20 (4, Insightful)

Exter-C (310390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059642)

At the end of the day there is no way there is a Top20. There has been so much good and bad software written some bad software even has been very innovative and often has features/taken stolen from it for better future software products.

Where is the top 100 software programmers.. that would at least be more including and give a better all round result of the industry.

Biased and dull list (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059656)

What an appalling list, heavily biased to the fashionably recent. Segei Brin may be clever, but he hasn't contributed a tenth of what Don Knuth has, who isn't even on the list.

There are also complete fields that have been ignored, what about the founding gods of Graphics? Scientific programming? Logic programming? AI?

Missing from the list: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059664)


Kristen Nygaard and Ole Johan Dahl - inventors of object-oriented programming [umich.edu] .

HEY! (1)

thechao (466986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059673)

I've already refreshed this damn thing TWICE and no one has made a comment that I could reply wittily too. WTF?

wall, carmack, knuth, brooks, etc (1)

joss (1346) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059674)

Of course, if these had been included other people would be whining about other omissions. Also, it seems to me like there is a severe open source bias in this list. "stuff that matters" .. bleh.

Linus Torvalds... (4, Interesting)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059675)

I'm not sure I agree with him getting the most "votes" at this point (scroll down the page). Excellent coder, good "top-level" thinker, but would I really put him in front of the guys who made Unix, Java, and even the web? Definitely not.

Re:Linus Torvalds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059692)

I would put him over the anti-father of the GNU GPL...

Re:Linus Torvalds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059724)

I'd put him in front of the people who made java. Java is an over enginereed piece of crap.

Hopper (1)

matithyahu (560061) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059676)

Couple people mentioned Lady Ada as the only 'token' female, but where is Adm. Grace Hopper? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper [wikipedia.org] Coined the term 'bug', helped develop the idea of programming languages (as a opposed to punchcards), developer of the FIRST compiler and was instrumental in the government's understanding and subsequent funding of early digital computers.

Awesome (1)

fortuna (152206) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059685)

I don't know about you but I reckon this is really cool. I'd love to see who are the gun programmers at the moment.

Then again I guess by the time you find out they've already done their best work.

What about games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059687)

John Carmack...

Why are we so obsessed with those at the top? (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059688)

I guarantee you these 20 people use the labor of others a lot more than they use their own labor. Why do we always obsess over people who are supposedly the best at something?

Re:Why are we so obsessed with those at the top? (1)

mrright (301778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059742)

"I guarantee you these 20 people use the labor of others a lot more than they use their own labor. Why do we always obsess over people who are supposedly the best at something?"

That is a typical thing to say for a communist.

Why is it that you have such problems with admitting that some individuals are more gifted than others?

And while you claim to despise individualism, you worship individuals like that mass murderer che guevara.

Where is John Romero? (1)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059699)

How can some Unix and typesetting compare to the majesty of Daikatana

We had pong, and we were grateful (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059700)


Where is Nolan Bushnell, creator of pong [ideafinder.com] , which launched a generation of games that could be plugged into the TV, ancestor to the xbox, playstation, and nintendo?

Who'd be on your equivalent list for games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059704)

I'd definitely have Peter Molyneux, John Carmack, Chris Crawford and Mike Burnham

Steve Woston!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059722)

How could you possibly forget Stephen Woston?

Re:Who'd be on your equivalent list for games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059738)

Joel Berez, Marc Blank, Graham Nelson, Ken Silverman.

don't forget this is Tim Bray's list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059717)


whoever the heck Tim Bray is ? iam sure he is a nice fellow but his opinion counts for ?

What about WOZ (1)

bwags (534113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059723)

No WOZ, No Apple, No Visicalc, No Lotus, No PC, No etc, No etc....

John Backus? (1)

mrright (301778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059726)

How dare they omit john backus? He invented fortran, which is still the most often used language for scientific calculations. And he pioneered functional programming.

He deserves to be on top of this list for this publication [stanford.edu] alone.

Al Khowarizmi (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059733)

820 A.D. whose name is where the English word "algorithm" originates. Not exactly a 'giant' but a founder.

Wrong Link: Mitchell Kertzman != Guido van Rossum (1)

EqualSlash (690076) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059753)


Mitchell E Kertzman [forbes.com] became a director of CNET Networks in May 1996. Mr. Kertzman is a general partner of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. From November 1998 until March, 2003, Mr. Kertzman served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Liberate Technologies, Inc., an information appliance and software provider. From July 1996 until November 1998, Mr. Kertzman served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Sybase, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise database software, which Mr. Kertzman joined in February 1995 as Executive Vice President. Prior to joining Sybase, Inc., Mr. Kertzman served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of Powersoft Corporation, an application development tools provider.Mitchell Kertzman has been listed in Forbes' America's Most Powerful People.

Inventor of the Internet? (5, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059755)

Where is Al Gore on the list?

almost a crock (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059765)

So I rtfa. The "feedback" link in the article has a pretty good list of the omissions. The list was shown to /. after the 40 choices were winnowed out by a much smaller [and apparently less well educated or younger] audiance than /.
/. readers have noted that the gods who gave us the first languages like cobol and fortran and lisp are not on the list. [Where, for instance, is Aiken whose APL spawned two dozen derivitive languages [murdoch.edu.au] ?] If you leave the selection up to a group of readers who can stomach wall-to-wall adds and exhortations like "... In the SYS-CON tradition of empowering readers, we are leaving the final "cut" to you,..." you are going to get pretty a uninformed range of choices. I'd rather start an ASK SLASHDOT for an open ended POLL with the names /. readers have already supplied than be shown the leftovers from some narrower and less informed group.

Gary Kildall? Others? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059774)

What about Gary Kildall (arguably father of the microcomputer operating system, in the form of CP/M)? Niklaus Wirth? Gerrit Blaauw? Blaauw is the principal designer of the System/360 Model 67 and the software (CP-67), and this was the first system to implement the VM (virtual machine) concept, at least in early form.

Or Randy Suess and Ward Christensen (first electronic bulletin board system, MODEM7, XMODEM)?

Turing deserves the spot but... (1)

leptonhead (791323) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059777)

Invented the algorithm, he did not. In fact, algorithmic mathematics is the oldest form of math and was developed independenty by most ancient civilizations. If anyone deserves to be in the list as the inventor of the computer algorithm, it should be Ada Byron, as Wikipedia writes. She developed a algorithm for Babbage's Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers in - 1842!

Here's the top40 list from the SYS-CON article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059780)

Here's the SYS-CON list of top-40 in case loading the article is super-slow for you like it was for me. SYS-CON was inviting people to pick the top 20.
  • Tim Berners-Lee [sys-con.com] : "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web
  • Joshua Bloch [sys-con.com] : Formerly at Sun, where he helped architect Java's core platform; now at Google
  • Grady Booch [sys-con.com] : One of the original developers of the Unified Modeling Language
  • Adam Bosworth [sys-con.com] : Famous for Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and IE4; then BEA, now Google
  • Don Box [sys-con.com] : Coauthor of SOAP
  • Stewart Brand [sys-con.com] : Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Tim Bray [sys-con.com] : One of the prime movers of XML, now with Sun
  • Dan Bricklin [sys-con.com] : Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Larry Brilliant [sys-con.com] : Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Sergey Brin [sys-con.com] : Son-of-college-math-professor turned cofounder of Google, Inc.
  • Dave Cutler [sys-con.com] : The brains behind VMS; hired away by Microsoft for Windows NT
  • Don Ferguson [sys-con.com] : Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM
  • Roy T. Fielding [sys-con.com] : Primary architect of HTTP 1.1 and a founder of the Apache Web server
  • Bob Frankston [sys-con.com] : Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Jon Gay [sys-con.com] : The "Father of Flash"
  • James Gosling [sys-con.com] : "Father of Java" (though not its sole parent)
  • Anders Hejlsberg [sys-con.com] : Genius behind the Turbo Pascal compiler, subsequently "Father of C#"
  • Daniel W. Hillis [sys-con.com] : VP of R&D at the Walt Disney Company; cofounder, Thinking Machines
  • Miguel de Icaza [sys-con.com] : Now with Novell, cofounder of Ximian
  • Martin Fowler [sys-con.com] : Famous for work on refactoring, XP, and UML
  • Bill Joy [sys-con.com] : Cofounder and former chief scientist of Sun; main author of Berkeley Unix
  • Mitch Kapor [sys-con.com] : Designer of Lotus 1-2-3, founder of Lotus Development Corporation
  • Brian Kernighan [sys-con.com] : One of the creators of the AWK and AMPL languages
  • Mitchell Kertzman [sys-con.com] : Former programmer, founder, and CEO of Powersoft (later Sybase)
  • Klaus Knopper [sys-con.com] : Prime mover of Knoppix, a Linux distro that runs directly from a CD
  • Craig McClanahan [sys-con.com] : Of Tomcat, Struts, and JSF fame
  • Nathan Myhrvold [sys-con.com] : Theoretical and mathematical physicist, former CTO at Microsoft
  • Tim O'Reilly [sys-con.com] : Publisher, open source advocate; believer that great technology needs great books
  • Jean Paoli [sys-con.com] : One of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the W3C; now with Microsoft
  • John Patrick [sys-con.com] : Former VP of Internet technology at IBM, now "e-tired"
  • Rob Pike [sys-con.com] : An early developer of Unix and windowing system (GUI) technology
  • Dennis Ritchie [sys-con.com] : Creator of C and Coinventor of Unix
  • Richard Stallman [sys-con.com] : Free software movement's leading figure; founder of the GNU Project
  • Bjarne Stroustrup [sys-con.com] : The designer and original implementor of C++
  • Andy Tanenbaum [sys-con.com] : Professor of computer science, author of Minix
  • Ken Thompson [sys-con.com] : Coinventor of Unix
  • Linus Torvalds [sys-con.com] : "Benevolent dictator" of the Linux kernel
  • Alan Turing [sys-con.com] : Mathematician; author of the 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
  • Guido van Rossum [sys-con.com] : Author of the Python programming language

Jamie Zawinski (1)

Henrik S. Hansen (775975) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059786)

Jamie Zawinski deserves a nomination. Among many other things, he was instrumental in the creation of Lucid Emacs (now XEmacs), bringing many innovations to the Emacs world.

On another note, the list is stupid. I mean, why choose the creator of SOAP, yet another (little-known?) protocol, over so many others? And who is Ann Winblad?

Eric Raymond (however controversial) definitely also deserves to be in the list.

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