The Programming Bible

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Now the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved over the earth. And God said “Let there be light”, and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and used it to produce the green screen.

And it came to pass that man would begin to program in assembler. But God saw that His deadline included a seventh day for rest and His project would slip. And thus God created FORTRAN in His own image and saw that it was good.

And FORTRAN did begat FORTRAN I. And FORTRAN I did begat ALGOL. And ALGOL did live for a great many years, whence it was a good father – for it did begat CPL and BASIC and PL/I and Pascal. And CPL did give life to portable code in the form of its descendant C. And BASIC did begat many programming careers with the BBC Micro. And PL/I did provide Ian with a career in PL/X. And Pascal did provide many an undergraduate with their first assignment.

Yet ALGOL also did begat Simula, and thus the earth became laid waste with object-oriented programming.

With C, the earth was good, but sin crept in and it did tempt programmers with the forbidden fruit of inexpensive computational power. And thus His programmers became lazy and listened to the serpent Simula and did spawn the devil’s incarnation in the form of C++. Thus God was downcast in their profligacy with their use of expensive runtimes.

Yet man did continue to spurn the Lord and used the evil of C++ to produce Java. And thus man did claim it to be as fast as C, yet the Holy Trinity were blinded by marketing when man re-wrote RPC using XML. And thus Java did begat Web Services.

Here endeth today’s lesson.

Unnecessary Superfluous Adjectives

Marketing material is littered with adjectives where normal people wouldn’t bother; all in the name of making something sound better than it actually is. A great example is the Domino’s Pizza flyer which dropped through our door this morning.

The front cover was advertising their “American Hot” special: a (probably great) combination of Jalapeno peppers, pepperoni, onion, and mozzarella. But of course it isn’t described as such. Instead the ingredients are listed as following:

  • Spicy Jalapenos – isn’t the point of Jalapeno’s the fact that they’re spicy?
  • Juicy pepperoni – no matter what planet you’re from, pepperoni isn’t juicy: a spicy disc of 50% fat with loads of salt will never be “juicy”
  • Onions – the only ingredient without an adjective: I guess it’s better saying nothing than describing it as “volume-adding onions” though
  • Mouthwatering mozzarella – this is the biggest lie of them all. Mozzarella is pretty much bottom of the pecking order when it comes to cheese quality. It works as a pizza topping, but I would never describe it as “mouthwatering” (have you ever tried a basic cheese and tomato pizza?)