The Myth of the Muttering Madman is a project in self-realization.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

GUI koans and The Art of Unix Programming

I've been reading a chapter of 'The Art of Unix Programming' by ESR every morning before work lately. I was also having drinks with a few guys who organised and spoke at World Usability Day yesterday at the State Library in Sydney. Anyway, reading this koan this morning seemed particularly poignant and funny :) Enjoy!

Master Foo Discourses on the Graphical User Interface

One evening, Master Foo and Nubi attended a gathering of programmers who had met to learn from each other. One of the programmers asked Nubi to what school he and his master belonged. Upon being told they were followers of the Great Way of Unix, the programmer grew scornful.

“The command-line tools of Unix are crude and backward”, he scoffed. “Modern, properly designed operating systems do everything through a graphical user interface”.

Master Foo said nothing, but pointed at the moon. A nearby dog began to bark at the master's hand.

“I don't understand you!” said the programmer.

Master Foo remained silent, and pointed at an image of the Buddha. Then he pointed at a window.

“What are you trying to tell me?” asked the programmer.

Master Foo pointed at the programmer's head. Then he pointed at a rock.

“Why can't you make yourself clear?” demanded the programmer.

Master Foo frowned thoughtfully, tapped the the programmer twice on the nose, and dropped him in a nearby trashcan.

As the programmer was attempting to extricate himself from the garbage, the dog wandered over and piddled on him.

At that moment, the programmer achieved enlightenment.

Quoted from: Master Foo Discourses on the Graphical User Interface

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