Random Quote #62 topic: joel-on-software

Let's look at a small example. The Unix programming culture holds in high
esteem programs which can be called from the command line, which take
arguments that control every aspect of their behavior, and the output of
which can be captured as regularly-formatted, machine readable plain text.
Such programs are valued because they can easily be incorporated into other
programs or larger software systems by programmers. To take one miniscule
example, there is a core value in the Unix culture, which Raymond calls
"Silence is Golden," that a program that has done exactly what you told it
to do successfully should provide no output whatsoever. It doesn't matter if
you've just typed a 300 character command line to create a file system, or
built and installed a complicated piece of software, or sent a manned rocket
to the moon. If it succeeds, the accepted thing to do is simply output
nothing. The user will infer from the next command prompt that everything
must be OK.

Joel Spolsky, "Biculturalism"


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There is a simple script that displays a random message from a database of quotes (as in well-know fortunes game). This version is bundled with quotations from The Bible, The Talmud, The Koran, poetry, prose, famous people and books, humorous items.

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