Replacing yourself with a very small shell script

March 26, 2012

One of the professors this semester gave me substantial liberty to design some of the homework assignments, liberty that I am now beginning to rethink.

The students have written programs implementing various alignment algorithms, which I grade automatically with a script that runs a bunch of unit tests and reports the results. Sometimes, though, the tests fail, and I must wade into the source to figure out what happened. If you ever want to ruin a nice weekend, try reading twenty different people’s perl code back to back.

I mentioned this to my fiancee’s father. His reply: “I’ve been using perl for twenty years, and I still learn something new every time I use it. That’s a problem.”