|By Jeremy Geelan||
|February 5, 2007 04:45 AM EST||
I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.
Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us?
The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context of my quest a couple of years ago to identify the Top Twenty Software People in the World.
It began as an innocent enough exercise, inadvertently kick-started by Tim Bray writing in his popular "Ongoing" blog about how he rated Google's Adam Bosworth as "probably one of the top 20 software people in the world." Already famous for Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and Internet Explorer 4 even before he joined BEA as VP of engineering in 2001, when BEA bought Crossgain, the company he'd by then cofounded after leaving Microsoft, Bosworth went on to become BEA's chief architect before leaving to join Google. Definitely a shoo-in for the Top Twenty then. But the question naturally arose - or at least it did in my mind - who are the other 19?
I knew that it would not be easy to answer, and not because there are too few candidates but because there are too many. The names of today's leading i-technologists - whose collective smarts Internet technologies rely on for their unceasing innovation and ingenuity - trip off most people's tongues in a heartbeat: just think of Sergey Brin, Bill Joy, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee, James Gosling, Anders Hejlsberg, Don Box, Nathan Myhrvold, W. Daniel Hillis, Mitch Kapor... all clear members of the "technorati" or "digerati" - call them what you will - the undisputed aristocrats of the online world.
But what about those who came before, the precursors of the current crop of talent? I wrote at the time:
"Can a list of the Top 20 i-Technologists possibly be compiled that doesn't cause the online equivalent of fistfights when published? Obviously not. But that shouldn't deter us from trying."
My inbox soon began to fill up with a deluge of nominations, and within days I was able to list forty mind-bogglingly gifted candidates, as follows (click on the name for a brief description of the individual concerned):
- Tim Berners-Lee: "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web
- Joshua Bloch: Formerly at Sun, where he helped architect Java's core platform; now at Google
- Grady Booch: One of the original developers of the Unified Modeling Language
- Adam Bosworth: Famous for Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and IE4; then BEA, now Google
- Don Box: Co-author of SOAP
- Stewart Brand: Co-founder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
- Tim Bray: One of the prime movers of XML, now with Sun
- Dan Bricklin: Co-creator (with Bob Frankston) of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
- Larry Brilliant: Co-founder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
- Sergey Brin: Son-of-college-math-professor turned co-founder of Google
- Dave Cutler: The brains behind VMS; hired away by Microsoft for Windows NT
- Don Ferguson: Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM, now with Microsoft
- Roy T. Fielding: Primary architect of HTTP 1.1 and a founder of the Apache Web server
- Bob Frankston: Cocreator (with Dan Bricklin) of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
- Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash"
- James Gosling: "Father of Java" (though not its sole parent)
- Anders Hejlsberg: Genius behind the Turbo Pascal compiler, subsequently "Father of C#"
- Daniel W. Hillis: VP of R&D at the Walt Disney Company; cofounder, Thinking Machines
- Miguel de Icaza: Co-founder of Ximian, now with Novell
- Martin Fowler: Famous for work on refactoring, XP, and UML
- Bill Joy: Co-founder and former chief scientist of Sun; main author of Berkeley Unix
- Mitch Kapor: Designer of Lotus 1-2-3, founder of Lotus Development Corporation
- Brian Kernighan: One of the creators of the AWK and AMPL languages
- Mitchell Kertzman: Former programmer, founder, and CEO of Powersoft (later Sybase)
- Klaus Knopper: Prime mover of Knoppix, a Linux distro that runs directly from a CD
- Craig McClanahan: Of Tomcat, Struts, and JSF fame
- Nathan Myhrvold: Theoretical and mathematical physicist, former CTO at Microsoft
- Tim O'Reilly: Publisher, open source advocate; believer that great technology needs great books
- Jean Paoli: One of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the W3C; now with Microsoft
- John Patrick: Former VP of Internet technology at IBM, now "e-tired"
- Rob Pike: An early developer of Unix and windowing system (GUI) technology
- Dennis Ritchie: Creator of C and coinventor of Unix
- Richard Stallman: Free software movement's leading figure; founder of the GNU Project
- Bjarne Stroustrup: The designer and original implementor of C++
- Andy Tanenbaum: Professor of computer science, author of Minix
- Ken Thompson: Co-inventor of Unix
- Linus Torvalds: "Benevolent dictator" of the Linux kernel
- Alan Turing: Mathematician; author of the 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
- Guido van Rossum: Author of the Python programming language
- Ann Winblad: Former programmer, cofounder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners
It was at this point that the name of The Father of Ada was thrown into the hopper, along with that of Ada Lovelace herself. How could I possibly not have already included Jean Ichbiah, many wrote to say? Indeed the one new submission was more indignant than the next, and I soon expanded the list of candidates from forty to one hundred, by adding the following sixty:
Gene Amdahl: Implementer in the 60s of a milestone in computer technology: the concept of compatibility between systems
Marc Andreessen: Pioneer of Mosaic, the first browser to navigate the WWW; co-founder of Netscape
Charles Babbage: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1828; inventor of the 'calculating machine'
John Backus: Inventor (with IBM) of FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator) in 1956
Kent Beck: Creator of JUnit and pioneer of eXtreme Programming (XP)
Bob Bemer: One of the developers of COBOL and the ASCII naming standard for IBM (1960s)
D J Bernstein: Author of qmail
Fred Brooks: Co-creator of OS/390, helping change the way we think about software development
Luca Cardelli: Implementer of the first compiler for ML (the most popular typed functional language) and one of the earliest direct-manipulation user-interface editors
Vincent Cerf: "The Father of the Internet," co-inventor with Robert Kahn of the first Internetworking Protocol, TCP
Brad Cox: Father of Objective-C
Alonzo Church: Co-creator with Alan Turing of the "Church-Turing Thesis"
Alistair Cockburn: Helped craft the Agile Development Manifesto
Edgar (Ted) Codd: "Father of Relational Databases," inventor of SQL and creator of RDBMS systems
Larry Constantine: Inventor of data flow diagrams; presented first paper on concepts of structured design in 1968
Ole-Johan Dahl: Developer (with Kristen Nygaard) of SIMULA, the first object-oriented programming language.
Tom DeMarco: A principal of the computer systems think tank, Atlantic Systems Guild
Theo de Raadt: Founder of the OpenBSD and OpenSSH projects
Edsger W. Dijkstra: One of the moving forces behind the acceptance of computer programming as a scientific discipline; developer of the first compilers
Robert Elz: University of Melbourne Department of Computer Science
Richard P. Feynman: Legendary physicist and teacher, teacher of Caltech course 1983-86 called Potentialities and Limitations of Computing Machines
Bill Gates: Chief Software Architect (and Lord High Chief Everything Else) of "the world's #1 company" (Hoovers.com)
Adele Goldberg: Developer of SmallTalk along with Alan Kay; wrote much of the documentation
Andy Hertzfield: Eazel developer and Macintosh forefather
Grace Murray Hopper: Developer of the first compiled high level programming language, COBOL
Jordan Hubbard: One of the creators of FreeBSD; currently a manager of Apple's Darwin project
Jean D Ichbiah: Principal designer, Ada language (1977)
Ken Iverson: Inventor of APL, later J
William Kahan: "The Old Man of Floating-Point;" primary architect behind the IEEE 754 standard for loating-point computation
Robert Kahn: Co-inventor with Vincent Cerf of the first Internetworking Protocol, TCP
Mike Karels: System architect for 4.3BSD
Alan Kay: Inventor of SmallTalk
Gary Kildall: Author of the archetpical OS known as CP/M (control Program for Microcomputers)
Donald Knuth: "Father of Computer Science" - author of The Art of Computer Programming; inventor of TeX, allowing typesetting of text and mathematical formulas on a PC
Butler Lampson: Architect of Cedar/Mesa; Implementer of Xerox Alto
Robert C. Martin: Agile software development proponent; CEO, president, and founder of Object Mentor
Yukihiro Matsumoto ("Matz"): Creator of Ruby
John McCarthy: Creator, with his graduate students, of Lisp
Doug McIlroy: Head of department at Bell Labs where UNIX started
Bob Metcalfe: Creator of Ethernet
Chuck Moore: Inventor of Forth, a high-level programming language
Andrew Morton: Linus's No. 2 in the kernel group
Ted Nelson: Creator of the Xanadu project - universal, democratic hypertext library; precursor to the WWW
Kristen Nygaard: Developer (with Ole-Johan Dahl) of SIMULA, the first object-oriented programming language.
Peter Pag: Pioneer of 4GLS (1979); developed Software AG's Natural
Bob Pasker: founder of WebLogic, author of the first Java Application Server
Benjamin Pierce: Harvard University faculty member for 49 years; recognized in his time as one of America's leading mathematicians
P J Plauger: Chair of the ANSI C committee
Jon Postel: "The 'North Star' Who Defined the Internet"
John Postley: Developed Mark IV (1967), the first million dollar software product, for Informatics
Martin Richards: Designer of the BCPL Cintcode System
Martin Roesch: Author of the open-source program Snort in 1998
Gurusamy Sarathy: Heavily involved in maintaining the mainstream releases of Perl for the past 7 years
Carl Sassenrath: Author of REBOL, a scripting language
Guy L. Steele: Author of athoritative books and papers on Lisp
W. Richard Stevens: "Guru of the Unix Gurus"; author and consultant
Ivan Sutherland: Considered by many to be the creator of Computer Graphics
Avadis (Avie) Tevanian: Chief Software Technology Officer, Apple
Guy (Bud) Tribble: One of the industry's top experts in software design and object-oriented programming
Patrick Volkerding: Creator of Slackware Linux
Larry Wall: Author of Perl
John Warnock: Inventor of PostScript; CEO of Adobe Systems
Michael "Monty" Widenius: Creator of MySQL
Nicklaus Wirth: Inventor of Algol W, Pascal, Modula, Modula-2, and Oberon
Stephen Wolfram: Scientist, creator of Mathematica
Jamie Zawinski: Instrumental in the creation of Lucid Emacs (now XEmacs)
Now we all know that there are others, that this list of 100 candidates barely scratches the surface, so....have at it: who's been left out? Once I have compiled a definitive list of, say, 150, I will devise a means by which we can vote and decide once and for all which 99 should join Adam Bosworth (who, for the record, loathes the whole idea of any such exercise, as does Tim Bray - who calls such popularity contests "moronic"; both would I am quite certain wish me to record here that this entire exercise owes nothing to their actual input, only to Tim's blogged remark en passant all those years ago...)
Over to you!
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
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Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
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The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
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The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,501
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
Nov. 27, 2014 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,352
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,699
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 27, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,316
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 27, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,255
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 27, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,271
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,549
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 27, 2014 07:00 AM EST Reads: 1,524
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,419
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Nov. 27, 2014 06:45 AM EST Reads: 1,356
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,266
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 27, 2014 04:00 AM EST Reads: 1,218
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 26, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 1,650
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,741
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,640
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,775
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,807