DR SEUSS AT TECHNICAL WRITINGSent in by Dwight Divine
Here's an easy game to play. Here's an easy thing to say:
If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!
If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!
You can't say this?
What a shame sir!
We'll find you
Another game sir.
If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!
When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!
Every Coder in Codeville liked objects a lot. "Tested," "reusable," that's what was hot. But the Grinch of reality sulked in his cave Saying, "Hear them all talk of the time that they'll save!" The Grinch hated Coders, and liked them to sweat. He thought, "I can make them unhappy, I'll bet!" He read through 12 texts, then looked up with a grin: "Why, this is as good as original sin!" He read with a chortle, "An object or class Is like a black box hiding all that it has. Its details invisible: All that you know Is what should go in and what answers will show." He slunk to the West Coast and into a lab Where chip engineers were at work in their fab. He heard their boss saying, "Forget testing tricks: This one is the same as a 486!" His chance had now come. From their math microcode He struck out one line as it went to download. And the Grinch watched with barely containable glee As the chips with their bugs shipped across land and sea. And each of those chips went to some happy buyer Where some just played games, but most were for hire Sending up spacecraft or buying up stocks Or predicting the timing of quake aftershocks. Then the bug story broke! And the Grinch was alarmed. This news came too early! Too few had been harmed! But the Grinch soon calmed down, as the months marched on by And the chip-making people continued to lie. "We fixed it!" they said, and now that was quite funny: You couldn't get fixed chips for love or for money. "It's really no problem," they added in chorus. "The errors are rare. Stop whining, you bore us." So everywhere, Coders were having to ask "Just how does this chip do its float-divide task?" Internals that they had been told to ignore Now had to be studied in blood and in gore. The leading bit patterns whose answers were wrong And whether the errors were carried along, All had to be thoroughly well understood S o the Coders could know if their answers were good. And the Grinch went off happy. He knew that they'd learned That quality output still has to be earned. Beyond "Merry Christmas," they'd learned something greater: "If you don't test it now, you'll just debug it later."
-- With apologies to the late Theodore Geisel
-Karl Sowa, GeoCities