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Facial Hair and Computer Languages 199

An anonymous reader writes "Tamir Khason from Israel has blogged about the direct connection between the amount of facial hair and the success of computer languages. Very funny, and it's the truth."
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Facial Hair and Computer Languages

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  • As they used to say...
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:42PM (#23241992) Homepage
    I'm sure everyone's heard of the "Unix beard"?
  • Bears?! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:43PM (#23242004)

    Letâ(TM)s see whatâ(TM)s going on with C? Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie and Kenneth L. Thompson. They are fine. Still have very good bears, so C has long long life.
    I understand the link you are trying to make with beards but you just throw this bear data in there taking the reader by surprise. Needless to say, I wish to learn more about this correlation of "good" bears and programming language success. Are these some kind of enforcer bears you speak of? If so, how are they "good?" Should we be afraid of Microsoft patenting our bear technology?
    • Still have very good bears, so C has long long life.
      Actually I was thinking this would be the best freaking fortune cookie fortune ever.
      • However if weâ(TM)ll normalize their hair
        afterthought: would normalizing hair be like the opposite of "combing" the hairy ball theorem []? Using all normals instead of tangents might yield the "spiky ball theorem."
    • Yes, in fact the population of enforcer bears has tripled in the last six months!
  • by jd ( 1658 )
    It's The Eric Conspiricy All Over Again!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:45PM (#23242042)
    These are examples of what is known as the progammer's dress code:

    first []
    second []

    I think Woz has the essence of it.
    • Thank you, thank you for that, mister or missus Coward. That really made my day, and I'm just partway through the first link.
  • For the LOVE OF GOD, would someone PLEASE go grab James Gosling and SHAVE HIS BEARD!!!!
  • What about head hair? Mine's down to the middle of my back :-).

    No beard though.
  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:56PM (#23242166)
    Someone should convince ZZ Top to make a new programming language called LEGS. [ducks]
  • Oh the memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oldwindways ( 934421 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:00PM (#23242238) Homepage Journal
    This reminds me of one of my third grade teachers. His class motto was "people with beards are great".

    I can't help but think that he was on to something.

    Actually, it also brings to mind a theme from Cryptonomicon [], where programmers are referred to as Dwarves, "stout, taciturn, vaguely magical characters who spent a lot of time in the dark hammering out beautiful things." I don't think its a coincidence that beards go along with the territory.
    • by thewiz ( 24994 )
      Actually, my wife is a dwarf.
      She's a beautiful lady who is outgoing, definitely magical and has coded many wonderful programs.

      And she didn't require a beard to do it!
      • by WED Fan ( 911325 )

        And she didn't require a beard to do it!
        • But, she kept you around because a beard is handy for some things.
        • She just grows the facial hair for winter?
        • That's not a beard, its a...

        Son, never, ever, never, leave the door that wide open again. So many punchlines, not enough time during my lunch to post.

      • No offense to your D&D 3rd edition wife, but if you had married a Pratchett dwarf instead, her wonderful programs would have fewer bugs.

        Beardless dwarves: just say no!

    • People from Northern Europe don't have much facial hair, but a lot of good coders come from there
    • by glwtta ( 532858 )
      Heh, I loved the beard "deconstruction" in the Cryptonomicon:

      She pulled down statistics on racial variation in beard growth. American Indians didn't grow beards, Asians hardly did, Africans were a special case because daily shaving gave them a painful skin condition. "The ability to grow heavy, full beards as a matter of choice appears to be a privilege accorded by nature solely to white males," she wrote.

      Alarm bells, red lights, and screaming klaxons went off in Randy's mind when he happened across that

    • I don't know about people in general, but there is a disproportionate number of hockey players who have beards. Clearly having a beard makes you a great hockey player.
  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:01PM (#23242264) Homepage
    "facial hair and the success of computer languages"

    I presume the article that is not loading is about the corresponding relationship of programmer's facial hair and the language they work in - versus computer languages themselves actually having facial hair.

    C++ (that must be nasty hair growing out of an ear. I had a Chemistry professor with that problem in college)
    • C++ (that must be nasty hair growing out of an ear. I had a Chemistry professor with that problem in college)

      I had an English teacher in high school with the same problem. The entire class was sure he had relatives who were werewolves.

      Why a man as he gets older needs more hair in his ears and less of it on the top of his head where you'd think he needs it is a trait that neither a Bible thumping Baptist preacher nor Charles Darwin himself would dare to try and explain.

      In the meantime, laugh. It's funny, b
  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:03PM (#23242286)
    Whatever he's smoking, he needs to share.
    • Well, what's your yardstick? Fortran has been very influential, and it has been successful in academia. Since it was designed as a language for science, I suppose you could call it successful.

      Still, taking a broader look at it with respect to who is using it today, and how much code has ever been written in it... you can see how it might be judged unsuccessful.

      I don't have an opinion on it, but I can see both sides.

      • FWIW, Fortran is still used heavily in the airline industry. Generating optimal flight plans, doing weight and balance and optimal flap/thrust calculations, etc. We had between 10 and 20 million LOC in Fortran at NWA, I'd estimate, and that includes the "new" flight planning system.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Luyseyal ( 3154 )
          Hell, my brother's master's thesis (engineering) involves modeling the lungs and he ended up doing it in Fortran because the math libraries he needed to use were written in Fortran and he didn't want to bother with wrapper code. So there ya go. 2008 and Fortran is still being written.

          • Yup. I maintain and update FORTRAN code at work for aerodynamic heating. A friend of mine getting his PhD in CFD and wrote a new CFD code in FORTRAN, he's relatively young and they still churn out new FORTRAN where he works. People still write new FORTRAN all the time, it's just not the glitzy, open source, "look at me" FORTRAN, it tends to be more of the big iron and computational stuff.

            But I tend to prefer c++.

            And my beard is about 6" long, fwiw.
          • I just finished writing an F77 program here at work. Just a fairly small mainframe transaction (around 2000 lines of code including fairly extensive comments). My last compile of this code was 15:21:20 GMT on 14 April 08, which was just over two weeks ago. :-)
      • Still, taking a broader look at it with respect to who is using it today, and how much code has ever been written in it... you can see how it might be judged unsuccessful.

        As you can see from the other replies, a ton of people are using it today. In legacy applications. In math-heavy applications--Fortran's math libraries are unmatched by any other language. And as far as how much code has ever been written in it--I'd bet that more line of Fortran have been written than any other single computer language

    • At first I thought you wrote "Whatever he's smoking, he needs to SHAVE."

      Then I was going to say something about how he's smoking all the hairs he shaved.

      And hilarity would have ensued.

    • by EngrBohn ( 5364 )
      As long as we're picking holes in the hypothesis that you can correlate the success of a language to the quantity of it's inventor's facial hair, I don't think I've seen any pictures of Grace Hopper with a noticeable beard.
  • by PaulMorel ( 962396 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:05PM (#23242324)
    My boss is constantly creating bugs in our software. He has no beard. QED.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      My boss is constantly creating bugs in our software. He has no beard. QED.
      You are so fired!

      Your Boss
      • lol. If my boss read slashdot, he would probably be a better programmer.
        • lol. If my boss read slashdot, he would probably be a better programmer.

          You mean, reading Slashdot causes beard growth? No wonder I have to shave regularly.

          Oh, yeah, I'm also not a very good programmer.

        • If my boss read slashdot, he would probably be a better programmer.
          I think that's because he'd be too busy reading /. to actually get any coding done.
  • Since I wear a goatee, I should write a computer language! I noticed that Thomas E. Kurtz's black and white picture in TFA (yes, I did. I must be new here) bears a striking resemblance to me at one point in my life, although his mustache is a lot thinker than mine ever was and his glasses are a lot nerdier than mine were. And I never EVER wore a suit and tie unless somebody got married or buried.

    I don't understan the "However, today this light weigh [sic] language losing it's [sic] popularity (less then 2%
    • by Dadoo ( 899435 )
      "I am, and always will be, a pocket-protector wearing NERD!" - Niel Armstrong

      I believe Neil Armstrong also said "I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises," so I question whether that's actually true. Interestingly, if you Google that saying, there are a few different versions. It would be nice to know the exact words he said, since many versions leave off the "running around doing exercises" part, completely changing the
  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:16PM (#23242476) Journal
    OK, the story is funny. The most interesting things about it, though, are these:

    1. there are stats on it collected by urchin (
    2. A Microsoft site was slashdotted
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      OK, the story is funny. The most interesting things about it, though, are these...

      A Microsoft site was slashdotted
      Obviously Microsoft needs more beards!
  • can someone fill me in on what's going on since the summary isn't very descriptive?

    Is it that people with beards are better at creating computer languages or are better at using them? If it's the latter, my supervisor is proof that this isn't the case, given his lack of beard and the fact that he's well versed in many computer languages.
    • Consider yourself lucky. You avoided a lot of bad english and bad humor. No real correlation is attempted.

      It's basically pictures of people who invented computer languages and verybad commentary relating to the state of their facial hair.
  • Whence RMS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dynamo ( 6127 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:22PM (#23242586) Journal
    Any discussion of facial hair and geekery is empty without mention of RMS [].
  • ... it appears we have taken down a Microsoft server with sheer volume. Robust web server, my ass.

    If only it were one in Washington, rather than one in Europe.
    • by dynamo ( 6127 )
      Did I just read you implying that there are people here who actually think microsoft makes robust web servers?

      It's funny though that they have these particular servers going down at an actual microsoft-hosted site - you'd think they'd have a backup or something.

      Someone go force those MS programmers to grow some beards!
    • Since when is .il in Europe?

  • Why? (Score:2, Funny)

    by wootcat ( 1151911 )
    Of course! You need something to stroke as you sit back and ponder your next line of code.
    • I'm very... worried about you, to say the least, though I do see where you're coming from (it's hard to stroke THAT while "pondering" your "code").
  • So, if I come across a woman with a beard...
  • Ada (Score:2, Informative)

    Ada Lovelace [] had little facial hair. Although her software is not popular, the difference engine has a certain theoretical popularity.
  • Hello?

  • A beard is not the correct measuring stick for computer languages. It's the size and girth of the double chin that is. Self conscious folks grow the beards to cover up that double chin...being more self conscious has no bearing on the quality of the programming language, or else we'd all have much cleaner desks and enjoy wearing suits. Therefore, it is ALL about the double chin.
  • by turing_m ( 1030530 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @05:33PM (#23244590)
    Get yourself a better computer. []
  • by kraut ( 2788 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @05:51PM (#23244848)

    Full beard, no real success for Pascal. Or Modula-2, or Oberon.

    The exception that proves the rule.
    • Borland was a giant once, and many programs that may have been recoded in C started with hacking in Turbo Pascal. It was not a long time and faded a while ago, but for overall punch Pascal made a memorable impact. It also influenced Karel the Robot, who apparently has no beard.
    • Young whippersnappers, you've probably never even heard of Turbo Pascal, the dominant development environment on PC's during the 1980's and early 90's. Not to mention the variants of UCSD pascal that were used to proiduce commercial software for other platforms (HP workstations, the Apple II, etc, etc.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by treerex ( 743007 )
      Turbo Pascal dominated the PC programming space in the 80s. And the Apple LISA and original Macintosh were programmed in two languages: assembly or Pascal. Hell, the Mac Toolbox used Pascal calling conventions and you had to deal with "Pascal Strings" (the length of the string being the first byte) for years and years, even in other languages. As another commenter said, "get off my lawn."
  • So the ability to grow a beard in the first place is a prerequisite to success in creating a programming language? I'm sure Smalltalk co-creator Adele Goldberg [], among others, would have something to say about that premise.
  • In cases where the programming and the computer were integral, the success of the machine also swings from the chin of the developer.

    When St. Woz developed the Apple II, he also developed Integer BASIC, which loaded from disk (and earlier, from tape). Woz was a veritable Neanderthal of a hacker. As the Apple gained popularity, the (by then) slick faced Steve Jobs became more involved in decisions about included features. Woz contributed Applesoft BASIC to the Apple II Plus, but Jobs oversaw its inclusion in
  • Some of the best languages ever conceived came from that guy and his beard, lame article at best!
  • Am I the only one struck by the complete chauvinism of an article about how beards make better languages? Yes, I get it, it's humor. But what we find funny can tell a lot about us.

    If a politician made remarks like this about how beards correlated with being a good lawyer or passing good legislation, there would be an uproar like we haven't seen since a certain 'wardrobe malfunction'.

    I hate to sound like "that guy", but it is almost offensive how slashdot can play the "why aren't more women in IT" game while
  • at Japanese the beard grows well
  • Bill Joy, the actual inventor of the Internet and author of what is probably the oldest in-use code that's not on a mainframe, is clean-shaven.

    I think it's worth pointing out that the most successful languages have been around since it was more acceptable for men to have beards, and that the author of at least one successful language (Ruby's Yukihiro Matsumoto) didn't grow a beard until after his language became successful. Also, several of the designers of Cobol were women, and I'm not sure whether that w

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!