Missing from the computer science curriculum

I thought that’s what the Mensur was for.

Until I read the comments I thought the OP had written Is (eye es) not ls (el es). Thought “wtf is Unix eye es”? Damn whatever font that is.


I had a rather intense discussion about those idiotic fonts with @coherent_light here. This is an illustration why I was right there. Designers who allow ambiguous letters in their fonts should be publicly hanged as a warning for others who’d want to put appearance over functionality. Possible exception for niche use artsy-fartsy fonts and even there with caution.


I strategically use I, l, 0, O, o, 1, |, °, !, ¡, as a delay tactic to combat brute force attacks. (|0I)


The special characters may help. For the other ones, the computer that does the bruteforcing Just Doesn’t Care about their graphical representation.


If I wrote a brute forcer, I would stratify my ascii, just as you suggest. But I’m not in that business and don’t really care.

They’re very rarely ambiguous when writing ordinary English. I vs l vs | vs │vs ┃ is only an issue when writing/displaying code, which is why we have code tags.


For some of us, such things count as ordinary everyday English.

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If there was one thing I could add to the CS curriculum it would be BDD or some other testing paper. I don’t know what it’s like at other universities but I had a lot of lecturers mention “write your tests first!” without ever having anyone explain how that’s supposed to work. I spent years teaching myself proper discipline, it’s been one of the most useful techniques I know, and to this day I’m somewhat annoyed to have paid all those thousands of dollars and not gotten a single lesson on the subject.

Oh we were telling jokes? How about COSC 4100, choosing the dilbert comic that is right for your office door.


Ouch. Are you aware that you basically just Godwinned this thread?

Just for the record: while the “Burschenschaften” student fraternities used to be on the forefront of the “fight for freedom” at some time in the 19th century, the current Burschenschaften are just fringe groups of students who enjoy excessive amounts of beer and extreme right-wing nationalist politics. I guess a scar in your face from the Mensur is the approximate cultural equivalent to having a confederate flag tattooed in your face.

So - back on topic: I do not consider somebody practicing the Mensur to be intellectually capable of learning to use either vi or emacs, so their opinions don’t count. They would all support vi, though, because Stallman self-identified as a Jewish atheist.

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I don’t think that any statistically significant percentage of the Culture Cops would be able to recognize a dueling scar even if it formally insulted and then attacked them.

Culture Cops?

Those who want to dictate, inter alia, what wounds and other marks are acceptable and what are Just Wrong.

I might sometimes feel the need to ridicule the Fine Tradition of standing still while somebody else scratches your face to Prove your Courage so you can go back to drinking and mouthing off about who the Left is destroying the German Nation, but I won’t dictate anything.

I’ll just decide for myself what wounds and other marks tell me about a persons views and behavior, and then I’ll decide whether that is acceptable for me.

But I stand by what I’ve said about those who engage in Mensur. That they…

  • … are less likely than the general population to have the mental capacity to master the relatively steep learning curves of those two editors
  • … are more likely to be racists
  • … are more likely to support one piece of software over another because the other software was written by a Jew
  • … are more likely to hold political views that can be classified as “extremely right wing”

Now is that “acceptable” or “Just Wrong”?


In order to be to assume that a facial scar is the result of Mensur, you have to already have enough other information about the person that the scar is superfluous to your assessment. Like shaved heads: you only read them as “skinhead” if they’re accompanied by the other skinhead accoutrements and attitude, otherwise it’s just a bald guy.

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True. There are alternative explanations of facial scars. You always have to look at the sum total of evidence, and not make a binary decision based on single factors. My disparaging statements explicitly apply to “people who engage in Mensur”, not to “people with facial scars that I mistake as the result of Mensur”. And of course, there are plenty of members who came for drinking and stayed for the friendships.


[citation needed]

Well, having somebody in the work team who can take pain in order to achieve a goal can be quite an asset. Their political views are a distant tertiary issue.

And, here, have a peek at the research results of the Heidelberg University.

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