A co-worker brought to my attention this little link: Coy: Like Carp, Only Prettier. It’s a Perl module described by its author, Damian Conway, thusly:
When a program dies what you need is a moment of serenity. The Coy.pm module brings tranquillity to your debugging. The module alters the behaviour of die and warn (and croak and carp). Like Carp.pm, Coy reports errors from the caller's point-of-view. But it prefaces the bad news of failure with a soothing haiku.
Not a bad idea.
Wait, it gets better. The description of the haiku generator algorithm is itself written in haiku.
The paper cites a Salon Magazine contest for haiku error messages. These are my favorite entries, although all of them are worth a read:
A file that big? It might be very useful. But now it is gone. -- David J. Liszewski Printer not ready. Could be a fatal error. Have a pen handy? -- Pat Davis The Web site you seek cannot be located but endless others exist -- Joy Rothke Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams. -- Peter Rothman
All this got me thinking: does anybody have any Linux poetry they’d like to share? Not necessarily haiku–any kind of poetry. There are lots of geeky UNIX things floating about, but nothing specifically Linux-related. (Or is my memory getting dim?) Maybe someday I’ll try writing a Linux sonnet.
P.S. Another co-worker sent me a link to a Star Wars move done in ASCII animation (asciimation). It requires Java.
Copyright © 1999, Mike Orr
Published in Issue 46 of Linux Gazette, October 1999
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