Definition: Holy Grail
A very desired object or outcome that borders on a sacred quest. There are several Holy Grails in the computer business. Standards tend to be high on the list; for example, having "one" standard that everybody uses and is happy with for each required area. Writing software once and having it run on every computer platform is also desired by many. Another is a software component architecture that allows software modules to "plug together" like hardware components, no matter the platform they run on or which programming language they were written in.
There are several derivations of the meaning of the Holy Grail that come from Christian mythology. For example, some people believe it was the cup Jesus drank from at the Last Supper. Some say it was the cup that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect drops of Jesus' blood at the Crucifixion, while others believe it was the same cup in both instances. Numerous legends of the quest for the Holy Grail, which would bring healing and eternal life, have been recounted in various ancient treatises.