Editors’ Choice: The Great Works of Software

Is it possible to propose a software canon? To enumerate great works of software that are deeply influential—that changed the nature of the code that followed?

Canons emerge over time, as certain works gain in critical appreciation. But software is mutable stuff, quick to obsolesce. Only banks, governments, and your parents run the same programs for more than a couple years at a time; the rest of us are forced to upgrade to new versions every two years or we risk being regarded as backward-minded hill people.

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This content was selected for Digital Humanities Now by Editor-in-Chief Amanda Morton based on nominations by Editors-at-Large: Danuta Sierhuis, Cinzia Pusceddu-Gangarosa, Cynthia Kristan-Graham, Monica Mercado, Ignatius Rautenbach, Matt Bernico, Patrick Wingrove, and Estelle Pope