Software Wars

Image from Bernd Helfert

Software Wars are conflicts caused by software versions that are incompatible or actively undermine or destroy software of another origin.

The mythology of some virtual and ai beings, based on some fragmentary pre-Technocalypse records and on traditions that were developed by survivors living in Solsys' remaining computronium banks during the Age of the Technocalypse speaks of a primeval cybercosmos of compatibility and of a disruptive being known as the Gate(s) of Hell who led to the downfall of this innocent paradise. Like many myths, this story distills some fundamental truths but it has no firm basis in historical fact.

The full historical record shows that Software Wars are almost as old as computers and are older than the development of AI. With time they led to a world of incomprehensible standards, "malfunctioning" cookies destroying rival software, and special spy and war programs. Software Wars of various kinds are strongly implicated in the Technocalypse, though many details are missing from the record due to deletions and corruptions caused by those very conflicts. Software Wars continue to cause economic losses, barriers in developing the Known Net, and at the extreme can lead to the deaths of uploaded and artificial sophonts (see Xanax and Lucinda), and even collapse of whole virch worlds. At times RL beings have incorporated software wars into their own military conflicts, with mixed success.

The worst software war was of course the Version War. However it is commonly understood that the software disputes that led to this war were merely used as pretext by the various combatants and that beyond the immediate causes of this war there were a myriad objectives known only to the Archailects themselves. In the current era, at least in the Civilized Galaxy, there is a more civilized interaction between software regimes.

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Development Notes
Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
minor additions by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 24 July 2004.