The one true meaning of "software" (was: licensing of XMPP specifications)
Michael Poole <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> After seeing this claim made quite a few times on various Debian
> lists, I was curious about the history for the claim above. The
> earliest common attribution of "software" that I could find in a
> computer context is to John Stukey:
> Today the "software" comprising the carefully planned interpretive
> routines, compilers, and other aspects of automative programming
> are at least as important to the modern electronic calculator as
> its "hardware" of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes and the like.
> [ from http://www.maa.org/mathland/mathtrek_7_31_00.html ]
> Note the "carefully planned _interpretive_ (etc)" and "aspects of
> automative programming" parts of Tukey's definition.
I would argue that is not evidence either for or against the use of
"software" to mean "digitally-represented information"; it clearly
addresses a system where the *only* information represented digitally
is the program, and doesn't have an answer for what happens in a
system that is capable of storing more than just the program.
This isn't a strong argument, I admit.
\ "I went to a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything |
`\ specifically." -- Steven Wright |