The source of the disease?

I ran across an option the other day that was something like:


Can you see what drives me crazy about this?  There’s this 26 character identifier that’s already impossible to type, and somebody decided it would be a good thing to shorten DEFAULT to DFLT.

What did this do?  Did it run faster?  Did it save disk space?  Did it save the world?  (Note that this system allows 128 character identifiers).  Why didn’t they shorten everything else, too?  (SVR_OPT_DFLT_ZNKRS_ON?  SV_OP_DF_ZKR_ON?)  Why why why why why?

My guess: It was probably historical.  Some ancient dinosaur of a reviewer got up on his mountain of saved-up dino poop and had a tirade about how CompuVac did this in the 60s and it was damned hard because they had to chip all their punch-cards out of fossilized dinosaur poop (after waiting for the poop to fossilize, you see) and by gum, by gum boys, this ain’t gonna change, it’s DFLT or,  or . . . (insert strangle-y purple sounds here).  Loosens collar, loosens tie.  By gum.

The donut-eaters in the rest of the room looked at each other, did a “gimme” and broke for lunch, chatting about the latest in blood pressure medications.  Wonderful stuff, maybe we should slip him some.

So DFLT it is, and pair programmers everywhere probably have daily conversations like:

“So, next: set server option default zonkers on.”

“Okay.  Um . . . syntax error.”

“What?  Oh.  That’s DFLT.”

“Right, sorry.  My fault.”

“Yup, you’re an idiot.”

Preserve us from dino-hood, please O Lord, and from becoming dinos ourselves.

Author: landon

My mom thinks I'm in high tech.

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