weird programming

From: scerir (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 12:43:16 MST


"Woodoo programming"
[from George Bush's "voodoo economics"]
The use by guess or cookbook of an obscure or hairy system,
feature, or algorithm that one does not truly understand.
The implication is that the technique may not work,
and if it doesn't, one will never know why.
Almost synonymous with "black magic" [see], except that
"black magic" typically isn't documented and nobody understands it.
Compare "magic" [see], "deep magic" [see], "heavy wizardry" [see],
"rain dance" [see], "cargo cult programming" [see],
"wave a dead chicken" [see].

"Cargo Cult Programming"
A style of (incompetent) programming dominated
by ritual inclusion of code or program structures
that serve no real purpose.
A cargo cult programmer will usually explain the extra
code as a way of working around some bug encountered
in the past, but usually neither the bug nor the reason
the code apparently avoided the bug was ever fully
understood (compare "shotgun debugging" [see], "voodoo progr.").
The term `cargo cult' is a reference to aboriginal religions
that grew up in the South Pacific after World War II.
The practices of these cults center on building elaborate
mockups of airplanes and military style landing strips
in the hope of bringing the return of the god-like airplanes
that brought such marvelous cargo during the war.
Hackish usage probably derives from Richard Feynman's
characterization of certain practices as "cargo cult science"
in his book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman".

[now I undesrstand why my pc sometimes.....]

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