The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for cargo cult programming
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :
cargo cult programming
A style of (incompetent) programming dominated by ritual inclusion of code
or program structures that serve no real purpose. A cargo cult programmer
will usually explain the extra code as a way of working around some bug
encountered in the past, but usually neither the bug nor the reason the
code apparently avoided the bug was ever fully understood (compare shotgun
debugging, voodoo programming).
The term ?cargo cult? is a reference to aboriginal religions that grew up
in the South Pacific after World War II. The practices of these cults
center on building elaborate mockups of airplanes and military style
landing strips in the hope of bringing the return of the god-like airplanes
that brought such marvelous cargo during the war. Hackish usage probably
derives from Richard Feynman's characterization of certain practices as ?
cargo cult science? in his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (W. W.
Norton & Co, New York 1985, ISBN 0-393-01921-7).
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