The Curious Case of Quines 🤔

In 1994, Szymon Rusinkiewicz submitted his entry to the International Obfuscated C Code Contest (IOCCC). In the documentation for his code, he wrote –

The world's smallest self-replicating program. Guaranteed. Produces a listing of itself on stdout.

What made Szymon’s claim interesting?

The C file submitted by him was blank. Szymon’s hack was based on a quirk of a specific C compiler that compiled an empty file into a program that does nothing. So an empty C program when compiled and run gave an empty output, i.e. its own source code which is blank.

He was right in his claim. A self-replicating program, it was.

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Inventing on Principle by Bret Victor

Bret Victor is an interface designer and computer scientist. In January 2012 he delivered a speech titled Inventing on Principle at CUSEC (Canadian University Software Engineering Conference) in January of 2012.

If you’ve done any kind of programming (even at a basic level), you’d be blown away by the demos Bret shows in his talk.

It’s perhaps one of the greatest talks on design, creativity, and how one should decide the work which is worth doing. Bret spends an hour advocating for a career built not on a craft or a process, but guided by a principle. In the process, he explains his own guiding principle, looks at examples from history, and lays out the case for discovering one’s own guiding principle.

Every minute of this video was worth the time.

Click here if you can’t see the video below.

 

The following transcript is sourced from Github.

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