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Open Source

Poems in Linux documentation

Linux: monkey is not running

Programming is fantastic! Programming is full of art, humour, and creativity. Though sometimes it can be a challenge, and sometimes the monkey is not running (image from n#). Still, Computer Science manifests traditional art forms, and the poetry of programming finds a literal place in the Linux kernel.

Linus Torvalds himself contributed to the discussion with a limerick.

There once was a lad from Braidwood
With a wife and a hatred for FUD
He hacked kernels for fun,
couldn’t get them to run.
But he always felt that he should.

The programming themed poetry appeared in, and around the documentation patches for lguest — described as “a simple hypervisor for Linux on Linux”. Though kernel hacks aside, Rusty Russell’s contributing patches were originally met with a bit of skepticism, ironically enough in a form of more limericks.

There once was a man they called rusty
Who patches were terribly crusty
Though his patches were right
And Linus was bright
They sat on the list getting dusty.

All in all, it’s simply an amusing read. Though I like the message involved — “Perhaps this effort, if merged, will inspire others”. Perhaps indeed. Computer programming is an inspirational field, if one is truly interested.

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Discussion

  1. Posted by david | August 20, 2007, 5:53 pm

    It’s great when programmers demonstrate that they, too, have a sense of humor and admire good (or at least humorous) poetry. I wish I had some examples right off, but for now I’ll just have to say “Yay!”

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