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Hello world! (Hello World indeed…)

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Does anyone know why we write Hello World apps when writing our first apps?

I don’t. Don’t see the logic behind that. You know, when you’re a novice programmer, like myself (four weeks’ experience!), you’d expect either something really epic, e.g. ‘Hackerz01cjkalw.201.592.1029.9’, which, really, doesn’t mean much, or something unbelievably dull, e.g. ‘Congratulations to me for writing my first program. It’s fun.’ But, it just has to be ‘Hello World’! It sounds so mechanic. And, following a bit of digging up on the net, I found a rather mundane back story to it…

On a normal day in the Bell Laboratories, a man by the name Brian Kerninghan decided to write a test application. And he thought, ‘let’s use “Hello World” in the print function!’ Hence, He used ‘hello, world’ as the input string.

End of story ~

By the way, if you didn’t know (I certainly didn’t), Brian Kerninghan, along with developers Dennis Ritchie and Den Thompson worked in Bell Laboratories are considered to be the fathers of the UNIX operating system. He’s probably best known for developing then-popular languages such as BASIC, FORTRAN and Pascal, including his own spin-off of FORTRAN, which he called ‘RATFOR’ (Rational FORTRAN), as well as authoring one of the first books ever on C. And he’s now a distinguished professor at Princeton University.

Well, that was probably really random as a first post. But since Hello World is so universal (it’s even WordPress’s default first post!?! XP), I thought it’d be interesting to find out why Hello World is so ubiquitous.

Do tell me what you think! (Yes, of Hello World…) XD

Source: Good ol’ Wikipedia 😀

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Written by imicrothinking

September 27, 2009 at 8:37 am

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