sh

Here’s an interesting tidbit for the code style fanatics out there. I recently found the source code of the original System 7 version of the bourne shell, sh, the father of bash. Wow. The code style is so awful that it’s almost a work of art. How bad is it? Well, I think a few lines from mac.h gives a pretty good impression:

#define IF    if(
#define THEN ){
#define ELSE } else {
#define ELIF } else if (
#define FI ;}

Here’s a bit of the resulting code (with pseudo-keywords highlighted):

FOR m=2*j-1; m/=2;
DO k=n-m;
FOR j=0; j DO FOR i=j; i>=0; i-=m
DO REG STRING *fromi; fromi = &from[i];
IF cf(fromi[m],fromi[0])>0
THEN break;
ELSE STRING s;
s=fromi[m];
fromi[m]=fromi[0];
fromi[0]=s;
FI
OD
OD
OD

As they would say over at the daily WTF: My eyes! The goggles do nothing! It’s C code alright, but not C code as we know it. It’s known as Bournegol, since it’s inspired by Algol. By the way, IOCCC, the International Obfuscated C Code Contest, was started partly out of disgust with this code.

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