Re: Collaborative Flaming

Sun, 2 Oct 1994 16:22:54 +0100

In article <> you write:

|>*sigh* This list gets more like netnews every week.

What? I thought everypne read it through Group,
but you have to get the cern hierarchy.

|>At 6:37 PM 10/1/94, Richard Huddleston wrote:
|>>I've just spent the past six weeks wading through the biggest collection
|>>of spaghetti code I've ever seen in my life: the NCSA httpd.
|>And Marc Andreessen responded:
|>>New to this whole programming thing, hm?

Well he won't be after he's finished now will he?

|>Sure, Marc may have seemed a bit presumptive with that caustic remark,
|>but you most certainly deserved it. Yes, the code is spaghetti, but for
|>many good reasons -- Ari mentioned just a few. Personally, I've seen much
|>worse (and it wasn't even free). NCSA httpd is mostly nasty because it
|>works on 40-odd different platforms, including such bone-headed examples
|>as NeXTOS, AIX, and Solaris, and each platform was added one at a time
|>(often via patches from elsewhere).

Yeah! Lets kill the weenie platforms and only support sensible operating
systems that are really standard. Anyone know of one?

|>Rob certainly knows it is spaghetti --
|>he was planning on re-architecting the whole bloody thing, but got swept
|>off his feet [by the MCom wave] before he could start.

I always thought the NCSA code was more pizza than spaghetti. Mind you
I have only crawled through Mosaic, perhaps httpd was different...
Whats this we here about the new browser being called Motserella?
Or was it Gorgon-zolla?

|>I like some of the obscure comments.

Me too, I did a grep for all the comments and kept them, more fun than the

|>You see, the fact is that you haven't EARNED the right to criticize that
|>code yet. Rob (of course) has, Ari (CERN httpd) has, Marc (Mosaic) has,
|>and even I have (libwww-perl), but that's because we have already
|>contributed to it (or the WWW code in general).

Oh anyone can criticize anything. That it the nature of USEnet. What you mean
is that he hasn't yet earned the right to be taken seriously.


Its the nature of code that tries to run on platforms developed by sadists
(MVS) or masochists (fill in name of favourite non-compatible UNIX here).

Actually I do not accept that public domain code has to be impossible
to maintain or look awfull. You just have to rewrite it about three times
and it starts to look ok.

|>You are perfectly welcome to bewail the state of Microsoft code at any
|>time -- you paid for it. The only way to "pay" for public-domain code is
|>to contribute toward its development.

Well they don't send me source code very often. Perhaps a Microsoft bod
could send us some and we could all have a go.

If you want a pretty set of source code there is a very nice set of sources
for a daemon in LISP with specially commissioned comments by Umberto
Eco and J.D.Salinger, unfortunately you need a symbolics machine to
run it.

My model for USEnetII is a MUD in which you troll through various rooms
for different purposes. On entering a room you can chose to either converse
in a sensible manner or beat the crap out of another speaker.

Phillip M. Hallam-Baker

Not Speaking for anyone else.