Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Adventures in the Past, and in Geekdom

I was browsing some directories of my local filesystem, looking for amusement in lost and unfinished thoughts from the past, and I came across a directory called selma-hayek.

Selma Hayek is a human being. A female human being. A famous female human being. What she's famous for I don't know. I do remember that this directory on my filesystem has nothing to do with Selma Hayek; it contains the source code for a program called selma-hayek that I downloaded a long time ago.

There wasn't any immediate clue to the purpose of the program in any of the non-code files in the main directory, just a copy of the GPL and a blurb explaining to people why they shouldn't split long lines when they write code. It sort of made the assumption that everyone used xcode. I disagreed with it; I believe that long lines in source code almost always make programs hard to read, and that even if xcode, or even every editor, formatted extremely long lines in a readable way, that the art of programming extends down to the minutiae. That our canvas is the text file, a great medium whose possibilities grow quickly enough with size to be infinite for all practical purposes. Ideas somewhat similar to these are explored in Neal Stephenson's essay In the Beginning was the Command Line.

Anyway the point is that I wanted to know what this program was. There were Java and Ruby files in the directory. I know neither language in any real depth, and didn't really feel like trying to glean structure and purpose from code written by people that advocate using extremely long lines. So I thought that Google might know what it was.

Turns out that a Google search for "selma-hayek java ruby" returns results about Selma Hayek, coffee and jewels. There are a surprising number of pages that match this search, and most of them look pretty sketchy from the Googleblurbs. I feel bad for this Selma Hayek, whoever she is.

1 comment:

Danielle in Iowa said...

Haha, I bet if most guys had a random folder names "Selma Hayek" on their computer, it would *not* contain things relating to computer code :-)