Software Components: Only The Giants Survive

  • Butler Lampson

in Computer Systems: Theory, Technology, and Applications

Published by Springer Verlag | 2004

ISBN: 978-0-387-21821-2

This paper was written for a symposium in honor of Roger Needham, February 2003. It is based on a keynote address at the 21st International Conference on Software Engineering, Los Angeles, California, 16-22 May 1999.

DOI | Publication

For many years programmers have dreamed of building systems from a li­brary of reusable software components together with a little new code. The closest we’ve come is Unix commands connected by pipes. This paper discusses the fundamental reasons why software components of this kind have not worked in the past and are unlikely to work in the future. Then it explains how the dream has come true in spite of this failure, and why most people haven’t noticed.