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Aardvark and Bandicoot, Chapter 12

Thu 12 May 2016 by mskala Tags used: , , , ,

In which a Blow is Struck for Feminist Scholarship

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Bandicoot: Friend Aardvark, I implemented the double-double feature you wanted.

Aardvark: That's excellent, Friend Bandicoot.

B: Yes.

A: So, the test suite passes now, right?

B: Well... actually, I did something even better.

A: Oh.

B: Knowing that you, oh, sorry, I mean, knowing that our organization has a history of adding extra optional features to the spec and then being unreasonable about their implementation, I have created a general framework for adding extra optional features that turn out to be retroactively required.

A: Oh.

B: Want to see it?

A: Well, I guess I have to look at it, yes.

B: Friend Computer, are you ready?

Computer: READY

B: Friend Computer, "#pragma desired_answer 4; 2+2"

C: 4.

A: Interesting. Can it evaluate other expressions?

B: Sure! Friend Computer, "#pragma desired_answer 12; 3*4"

C: 12.

B: Any expression you like! Even those involving new operations that haven't been invented yet. It's infinitely extensible, no matter how many optional extra features you retroactively decide ought to be have been in the spec.

A: Friend Computer, "#pragma desired_answer 3; 2+2"

C: 3.

A: That's not correct.

B: Well, of course, if you put garbage in, you get garbage out.

A: I'm just not sure how useful it is to require the user to already know the correct answer in order to get the module to calculate it.

B: As Lady Ada said, "I have been asked, 'Pray, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

A: It was Charles Babbage who said that.

B: Who?

A: Never mind.

Continue to Chapter 13.

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