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March 18, 2012 / Dr. Toad

Public static void

“Public static void: gazillions of chunks of program code written in Java include that cryptic sequence. The words carry specific technical meaning. But I’ve always heard them as a bit of machine poetry, evoking the desolate limbo where software projects that begin with high spirits too often end up.”

– Scott Rosenberg, Dreaming in Code

Weirdly, the unraveling fabricated story of Mike Daisey and the Apple factory (the link points to the exemplar retraction by NPR’s This American Life) led me via Scott Rosenberg’s piece on truth and stories to this wonderful quote.

class HelloWorld {
   public static void main (String args[]) {
      System.out.println ("Hello World!");
   }
}

Show of hands, please: who has independently parsed “public static void” as a public static void? In close to 15 years of programming, I hadn’t. This is a beautiful piece of noticing.

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