Let's admit it, a lot of the software out there in the wild is total utter crap. It gets the job done (usually), but working on it or with it is all but pleasant.
What makes great software then? It's quite difficult to quantify, different people will have varying opinions... But you know a good design when you see it. Let's look at some.
- OpenBSD - Stable, simple, secure. Beautiful.
- Debian - Stable, comprehensive. Nothing beats it for getting the job done.
- Plan 9 from Bell Labs - Groundbreaking ideas (for 1990's).
- Minix 3 - Real world microkernel OS.
- Python when practicality beats purity (99% of the time)
- For embedded use:
- For templating:
- For low-level hacking
With examples & ideas:
- Great for Q&D prototyping
- nginx to handle c10k
- Werkzeug and Flask to get stuff done
- OpenResty - Lua on nginx
- Go has good tools for high-performance HTTP plumbing