Pavlos (pavlos) wrote,

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Pavlos on Software: The beast that shakes the barley

Hunting bugs in programs is like hunting a small beast in a field of barley.

The peasant hears the beast shuffling through the barley and runs after it here and there. He cannot see the beast, and strikes his pitchfork madly into the corn. He does a lot of damage, and doesn't catch the beast except by chance.

The hunter studies the movements of the beast, its footsteps and the damage to the crops, and lays traps accordingly. The hunter catches the beast sooner or later, when it ventures out of its nest.

The samurai stands at the edge of the field, frozen in his fury like the bronze statue of Nariyama. His taut bowstring conceals the energy of a thousand horses. Set like fires in his knotted face, his eyes dart over the surface of the crop, scanning it. He senses the slightest ripple of the beast, even in the middle of a howling gale. Within a breath he knows where the beast is, and what it is feeling. Suddenly, he turns and shoots his arrow into the barley. An instant later the beast's dying whimper is heard. Not bad...

The master plants the barley so that it is beautiful and no beast will hide in it.

Notice: The author does not condone hunting, a class society, militarism, sexism, or religion. These concepts are used purely metaphorically.

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