Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Words I say to myself as I program

Do you ever listen to yourself as you program, I mean listen to the words and phrases you say, to yourself, as you're working? I've been aware that I do this, for years -- but only recently been listing them. Here's what I have so far.

  1. Thank you or thanks. When I do a set of steps, run it, and it works, I generally say thanks as I move on to the next step.

  2. Another word I say when something works is "Bing!" -- a happy, self-impressed version of "Thank you." This predates the Microsoft search engine. In fact I used to put that expression on posts on Scripting News, and Microsoft people read it. Never mind. They're welcome to use it. Public domain.

  3. This is one I've started saying recently: "Whenever you're ready." I say it when something I just caused to happen is taking longer than I think it should. Sometimes these things never happen. You end up moving on before it happens, going to dig in to learn what caused my app to fall over and die.

  4. This one is classic. I used to say Ptahhhhh! in place of Bing! or Thanks! I never understood where it came from till one day I was staring at a bit of code that didn't work (you end up doing this a lot, ask anyone) and noticed:

var pta = html.getPageTableAddress ();

This was a very common bit of code that appears at the top of any routine that's responding to a request over the web. It's getting the globals for the request. My subconscious was watching, probably had no idea what "pta" means, but it wanted to create a connection so it caused me to say Ptahhh! in my brain.


Last built: Sun, Nov 2, 2014 at 11:45 AM

By Dave Winer, Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 8:52 AM. Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.