[UPDATE: Participant Dan Bricklin (among others) has his own writeup about this get-together.]
Scott Rosenberg reports on a panel of famous computer programmers from 20 years ago (Salon subscription or free ad-supported day pass required), who recently re-convened to discuss the current state of software.
Since the full article is awkward to get if you don't subscribe, here are some excerpts:
"Software inefficiency can always outpace Moore's Law. Moore's Law isn't a match for our bad coding." - Jaron Lanier
"I believe these are two separate roles—the subject matter expert and the software engineer." - Charles Simonyi
"There's this wonderful outpouring of creativity in the open-source world. So what do they make—another version of Unix?" - Lanier again
"And what do they put on top of it? Another Windows!" - Jef Raskin
"It's because they want people to use the stuff!" - Andy Hertzfeld
"The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems." - Bill Gates (quoted from an old interview—he was not present this year)
I guess it was only after Gates learned what he could that he promoted the idea that software must be paid for.