Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

April 30th, 2003

How far have we fallen from the true art?

I happened upon “Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal” today. It could have been re-written several times since 1982 with a whole series of languages and environments given the same treatment as that handed out to Pascal here. My favourite part:

Real Programmers are reluctant to actually edit a program that is close to working. They find it much easier to just patch the binary object code directly, using a wonderful program called SUPERZAP (or its equivalent on non-IBM machines). This works so well that many working programs on IBM systems bear no relation to the original FORTRAN code. In many cases, the original source code is no longer available. When it comes time to fix a program like this, no manager would even think of sending anything less than a Real Programmer to do the job — no Quiche Eating structured programmer would even know where to start. This is called “job security”.

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