Brought To You By The Number Eleven

I’d like to make one very straightforward and simple point, if I may. First, examine this:

FILE* f = fopen("/usr/src/409/final_world_data.txt", "+w");

Then, I would like to point that the surrounding text is full of asterisks and ampersands and structs and stuff, or at least it was earlier today. Now, it
is surrounded by all of those things and a king’s ransom worth of #ifdefs, and I don’t think I need to tell you what the #ifdef exchange rate looks like right now. Now, can you tell the difference between that line and this line?

FILE* f = fopen("/usr/src/409/final_world_data.txt", "w+");

I know you can. And if you are a programmer, and if your brain is larger than a peanut, you probably know why that small difference is important.

The point I wish to make is this: programming is very, very hard, if you are stupid.


  1. Posted October 31, 2003 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always thought that the string argument in that case was a little ugly. I prefer open’s semantics.

  2. Posted October 31, 2003 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    What sort of bizarro arcane language is that? Are you, like, trying to create a File object?

  3. Mike Hoye
    Posted November 1, 2003 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    I am on the absolute bleeding edge of mid-nineties technology. Fear me.

  4. Posted November 5, 2003 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Hah! That “bizarro language” looks precisely like C.

    Wait till you get to use semaphores and select().