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This paper introduces a special issue of the Journal of Economic and Social Measurement on the development and evaluation of computer software for econometric applications. It describes at least certain aspects of the history of the development of this software during the past approximately 50 years, beginning with the first use of the programmable electronic computer by economists in the early 1950s. It considers the various types of software developed, ranging from packages that permit thedoi:10.3233/jem-2004-0226 fatcat:yusajmlfnzgzpai36wpktyn4hq