Hackers and the Foobar Phrase

By Xah Lee. Date:

it's … crotchet time!

i have lots hatreds of hacker things. One of them, is the use of foo bar phrase.

i mom despise it.

what's with the foo bar infatuation?

y'know? the hacker types are a studious pack, often discourse comp sci or reasoning in great depth, that they try to do things the best way, as can be witnessed in the verbiage of countless RFC's (aka Really Fscking Common) and the like. And, hacker types despise ill use of eng or grammar, and will not shy off going into full force entailing fine points of latin and stuff.

now, let's take a look at the foo bar phrase. Why use something incomprehensible and mythical, when simpler phrase will do?

The proper way, is x y z, or a b c. If single letter are confusing, then use xx yy zz, aa bb cc.

Why? because x, y, z, or xxx, is universally understood, much wider in age. The xyz is used in all scientific fields, from the convention of naming variables x, then y, z, or variable constants a b c. The xxx is widely used in English as a wildcard. (or things we rather not be explicit, ya know what i mean?)

but why foobar?

foo what? bar what? foobar ya ass!

i'll tell you why. Because, the hackers, can't escape being a human animal. And, like all human animals, they have a need to form a close-knit group. So, the use of foobar and other hackish jargons, is a body language of identity. Like, gang with signs and handshakes.