[Chicago-talk] The Perl Hacker's Passover Story

zrusilla at mac.com zrusilla at mac.com
Wed Mar 30 07:21:37 PST 2005

Passover is coming up in a few weeks. In honor of the commemoration of 
the Exodus I recast the story in terms Perl hackers can understand.  It 
was originally written to spoof a friend but has been genericized.

  *   *   *    *   *   *   *   *   *

The Perl Hacker's Passover Story

Moses was found in a reed basket in the Nile by Pharaoh's daughter, who 
adopted him as her own. While growing up he saw the Israelite hackers 
slaving away on Pharaoh's web site. He was commanded by Larry Wall to 
lead the hackers out of MitzraimSoft into the Promised Land of Perl, 
where servers hum day and night and requests are always answered.

  "Why me?" asked Moses. "I am but JAPH, and I write bad documentation."
"Your POD is fine," said Larry. "Now go do it."

Moses went before Pharaoh. "Let my people hack," he said.

Pharaoh refused to let the hackers work less than 80 hours a week, so 
Moses visited the ten plagues upon him: worms, viruses, spam, trojans, 
spyware, buffer overruns, DDOS, spoofed IPs, man-in-the-middle attacks, 
and crashes of the first-spawn processes. Pharaoh's clients threatened 
to take their business elsewhere, so he fired his entire Israelite IT 
department and had security escort them out. The Israelites gathered up 
their PowerBooks and left in such a hurry, they had no time let their C 
programs finish compiling (which is why they use bytecode interpreted 
languages to this day).

Pharaoh then realized he had no one to fix his bugs, so he bade his 
management chase the Israelites and bring back some system 
administrators, at least. The Israelites safely crossed across the 
Internet backbone but the Egyptian management was drowned in packets.

Moses was called up to Sinai where Larry Wall presented him with the 
Camel Book. However, when he returned he found his hackers all 
programming in Java. They were severely punished. After forty years of 
wandering, they entered the Promised Land of Perl, except for Moses, 
who was not allowed into the Promised Land because he didn't answer the 
beeper one night.

Liz Cortell

The purpose of satire is to strip off the veneer of comforting illusion 
and cozy half-truth, and our job is to put it back again. -- Michael 

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