Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"The Software Inferno" - Dante's tale, as experienced by a software architect

acmqueue - The Software Inferno

Dante's tale, as experienced by a software architect

Alex E. Bell, The Boeing Company

The Software Inferno is a tale that parallels The Inferno, Part One of The Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri in the early 1300s. That literary masterpiece describes the condemnation and punishment faced by a variety of sinners in their hell-spent afterlives as recompense for atrocities committed during their earthly existences. The Software Inferno is a similar account, describing a journey where "sinners against software" are encountered amidst their torment, within their assigned areas of eternal condemnation, and paying their penance. In an attempt to preserve some of the original Inferno's spirit and archaic prose, I have reused a few translated fragments of Dante's original text taken from SparkNotes3 and am grateful to include this classic material.

The topology of the Software Inferno is captured in figure 1 and describes the setting for the sorrowful tale you are about to read.

The Journey Begins

Midway through our software project, I found myself in a dark wood, the right road lost. I cannot well recount how I entered it, so full was I of discontent at that point where I abandoned the true path. Yet, the true path is what I had hoped this journey would restore to my troubled soul, and I will now tell of the things I have seen.





"Leave every hope, ye who enter!" read the inscription on the gate at the edge of the Software Inferno. Here were sighs, laments, and deep wailings resounding through the starless air. Strange tongues, horrible cries, words of woe, accents of anger, voices high and hoarse, so were the unwelcoming environs of the Software Inferno.


This is an awesome read. It's only 8 pages, great for when you take a break or need to shift gears...

(via SlashDot - The Software Inferno)

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