Although electronic computing and software are generally perceived to have been conceived in the English speaking world, French engineers and their fellow developers haven taken to it with alacrity from the very first and have made significant contributions with world-class products, which they have imbued with a unique flair.

To my mind a shining example in recent years has been the open source WAMP  package created by Romain Bourdon. This may seem to some as a surprising choice. It is, however, a software development platform, which has played a significant role in getting people started with a certain class of software and has helped ease the entry of some start-ups into the software industry.

WAMP derives its name from the acronym formed from the initials of Microsoft Windows and the principal components of the package: Apache, MySQL and one of either the Perl or PHP languages. Apache is a free web server whereas MySQL is an open-source system for managing relational databases. PHP is a scripting language (also open source), which lends itself to manipulating information retrieved from a database and to generating web pages dynamically.

The package enables its users who have limited facilities to begin experimenting or building a prototype of a web application on their desktop or laptop computer, without the need to be connected on-line all the time to a remote server to do so.

I have found it easy to install and it proved itself over time to be remarkably stable. The additional value which derives from it, is that some major suppliers of CMS software have found it worth their while to leverage its benefits by proving versions of their product, which run on that platform. So for example I have been able to load the Joomla CMS onto it relatively quickly, although this did require some care to ensure that the PHP and MySQL used by each of these were of matching versions.

What French Software (Not necessarily Open Source) have found favour with you? Please feel free to add to this list.


Neither I nor any of my immediate relatives and associates have any share in  any of Romain Bourdon's companies and I do not stand to personally gain in any way through the views expressed here.

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