Index  Comments

Under review is this document.

This review concerns a nice collection of poetry from the 1970s. It can be a very brief read, but I believe this adds to the charm. This document is a time capsule, and those who aspire to be hackers would do well to read it, at least once. I revisit it often enough, and write mine own such poetry.

Many of the works are set to the tune of established music. It begins with ``BBN Superlisp'', which criticizes its ``Do what I mean'' scheme, and reveals interesting differences with contemporary Lisp dialects. I don't clearly see what ``Mean What I Do'' is, but it's an interesting idea in any case. That soon thereafter following ``A Time for DWIM'' expounds further on just what makes DWIM lose so.

The ``Both Ways, Now'' is fun, and that Lisp remains where FORTRAN and COBOL don't shows its verity.

I most often return to ``The HACTRN'', a parody of ``The Raven'' with an ITS theme, and one of those works in this so complex it has a small dictionary at the end, which I suggest perusing, beforehand. I've occasionally searched out a bug, wondering whether my program is in a suitably working state or not, and had my heart fill with dread, and it occasionally makes me think of this poem. It's such a pleasant view into a night's hacking session, leaving me not entirely unaware of how the ITS worked.

The explanation of PDP-10 assembler language mnemonics being derived from Latin is fun, and a rather nice argument against using such languages. Those only other mentions of assembler languages in the collection involve specific, named hacks, often abusing the assembler, and so don't mean much to me.

The poem unnamed, on page sixteen, singing praises unto the tree, comparing to other languages known oh so mean, makes its points, so beautifully, and that poem in particular, is oh so pleasing, to me.

I also enjoy ``My Favorite Hacks'' moreso than the OpenBSD version, ``Our favorite hacks''. By that tradition, the OpenBSD conveniently doesn't mention this one.

It would be in poor form to describe much more. It's a little treasure trove to explore in leisure.