Even Random Paint Splatters Can Be Legitimate Computer Code (If You’re Utilizing Perl)

Even Random Paint Splatters Can Be Legitimate Computer Code (If You’re Utilizing Perl)

As technology becomes more central to our lives, kids are increasingly being steered towards careers in programming with things like toys that promote coding. Is there still room for the arts in a world run by apps, AI, and computers? It turns out there might be a closer connection between the two than you’d think,…

As technology becomes more central to our lives, kids are progressively being guided towards professions in shows with things like toys that promote coding Exists still space for the arts in a world run by apps, AI, and computer systems? It ends up there might be a more detailed connection between the two than you ‘d believe, as a software engineer found that random paint splatters are in fact valid Perl code in camouflage

It began with a tweet from Adrienne Porter Felt, a developer on the Google Chrome team who regreted that kids were being groomed for future careers at such a young age now, when they should simply be free to jump in mud puddles and smear paint all over the walls.

Jack Archibald, a developer advocate for Google Chrome, then wondered if paint smeared on a wall could somehow be developed into valid Perl code The gag here is that the infamously unpleasant programming language can often resemble something like a Jackson Pollock painting, but a software application engineer and previous Googler named Colin McMillen decided to take Archibald’s concept and keep up it.

McMillen discovered that when random paint splatters were processed by OCR software– character-scanning tools that are usually utilized to turn analog words into digital text– it led to legitimate Perl code 93 percent of the time. Not necessarily beneficial Perl code, however code that still properly executes.

The results were published by McMillen(and an imaginary co-author named Tim Toady) in a joke-filled white paper readily available here, however much more intriguing is the online art gallery of paint splatters revealing which ones generated legitimate code (plus the results of that code) and which did not. McMillen composes that much of the time, the results worked simply since Perl can parse unquoted character strings as text that other programs languages would reject outright. There does not appear to be a specific pattern or requirements for splatter techniques that will definitely generate Perl code, and various approaches to the OCR process might extremely well produce arise from one splatter that another doesn’t.

So is the takeaway that letting your kids run wild with a can of paint the best course to a financially rewarding career in Silicon Valley one day? Doubtful. Maybe it’s somewhere in the middle. Let your kids be kids, however make certain they’re exposed to all type of activities as they mature.

[Colin McMillen via BoingBoing]

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