Hack - show we use a different term?

Stephen Darlington stephen at zx81.org.uk
Sun Jul 22 12:49:29 BST 2007

> The term 'Hack' is used for so many things, some of the computer  
> related
> ones are:
> *"Hack* has several meanings in the technology and computer science  
> fields:
> a clever or quick fix to a computer program problem; a clumsy or  
> inelegant
> solution to a problem; illegally breaking into a computer,  
> generally over a
> network connection; or a modification of a program or device to  
> give the
> user access to features otherwise were unavailable to them." -
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hack_%28technology%29
> The problem I have is whenever I speak to almost anyone not in the
> technology/computer field they only ever think "illegally breaking  
> into a
> computer".

I agree. I'm not sure that most people in the IT industry know the  
difference either!

The non-computer definition I really didn't like was "cut, chop (at)  
violently" which suggests a level of randomness and imprecision that  
is completely out of place when writing code.

(I fact I wrote a rather more detailed piece on about this on my  
website a few years ago: http://www.zx81.org.uk/computing/opinion/ 

Also, am I the only one that gets strange looks when I used the word  
"kludge" to describe a particularly nasty fix?

--> Stephen
PS First post to the list. Hello everyone!
                     Stephen Darlington (www.zx81.org.uk)
       "I laugh in the face of danger, then I hide until it goes away"

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