Re: Results in Parallel columns
Date: 15 Jun 2006 13:00:10 -0700
Kludge or kluge:
- A system, especially a computer system, that is constituted of poorly matched elements or of elements originally intended for other applications.
- The use of undocumented, unintended, accidental or non-standard features which appear in the software or hardware to solve an immediate problem in a computer system.
- A clumsy or inelegant solution to a problem.
>From the old Scottish word "kludgie" meaning an outside toilet; A
Scottish engineering term for anything added in an ad hoc manner; the spelling "kludge" adapted by American engineers in World War II.
"How to Design a Kludge", Jackson Granholme, Datamation, February 1962, pp. 30-31], which defined it as "An ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole."
It was beautiful, complex and wrong. In 150AD, Ptolemy of Alexandria published his theory of epicycles--the idea that the moon, the sun and the planets moved in circles which were moving in circles which were moving in circles around the Earth. This theory explained the motion of celestial objects to an astonishing degree of precision. It was, however, what computer programmers call a kludge: a dirty, inelegant solution. Some 1,500 years later, Johannes Kepler, a German astronomer, replaced the whole complex edifice with three simple laws. -- The Economist
[very common] Another widely used metasyntactic variable; see foo for etymology. Probably originally propagated through DEC system manuals by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1960s and early 1970s; confirmed sightings there go back to 1972. Hackers do not generally use this to mean FUBAR in either the slang or jargon sense. See also Fred Foobar. In RFC1639, FOOBAR was made an abbreviation for "FTP Operation Over Big Address Records", but this was an obvious backronym. It has been plausibly suggested that foobar spread among early computer engineers partly because of FUBAR and partly because foo bar parses in electronics techspeak as an inverted foo signal; if a digital signal is coded so that a positive voltage or high current condition represents a 1, then a horizontal bar is commonly placed over the signal label. Received on Thu Jun 15 2006 - 22:00:10 CEST