<#3080#>#tex2html_wrap4626#<#3080#> This chapter is the result of digesting a number of contributions to a lively debate on the lessons and challenges of distributed computing. The debate was initiated by A Tanenbaum on the bulletin board comp.os.research. It is intended to be read with a pinch of salt. Some of the structure of ideas emergent here could be regarded as the result of participatory design.