Bell Labs Unix Group Disbanded


A news item on Slashdot says that the original Bell Labs Unix group (with guys like Rob Pike, Kernighan, Thompson, Ritchie, McIlroy) has been disbanded - most of the researchers have left the lab, some to become university Professors, others to work in companies like Google. There have been lots of interesting user comments - many of which bemoan the demise of great research groups. It's a fact that most `research' that goes on today is oriented towards bettering the next quarter's profit - there seems to be a distinct lack of focus on long term objectives. Such research will never produce stuff like the transistor or the laser. It seems that our arch enemy, MS, has a research department with some real great scientists *not* doing product R&D but basic research in areas like Algorithmics - hats off to Bill.G if he is really doing this. Indian companies like Infosys, Wipro etc are minting money - why don't they hire a group of smart guys and put them to work on say inventing new algorithms and stuff of that sort. It would be difficult to get such a group of `smart guys', but I am sure with sincere effort, these companies would be able to set up research establishments like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) where people do *real* research rather than write stupid Java/Cobol/C/XYZ code. People like Narayan Murthy, Premji etc had the vision to build up an entire industry from scratch - they shouldn't stop at that - they now have a chance to give to India an AT&T or a XEROX PARC; will they try?


Sat Feb 14 12:20:23 2009

bell labs...the home of innovation!!those guys gave us plan9 and C....its sad to know that the group is no more.and ya,it would be something if more research groups like the one at bell labs would pop up world wide...people are forgetting about innovations these days and concentrating on imitating and not being original....

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