the Hidden Realities of Computer Industry in Japan Japanese

1.1 Ugly Program


First, I am going to explain a little about the program. But, it doesn't mean that I explain it like a general enlightenment document.

I'm sure that you know computer can do various work because of the program what looks like something unclear. Though the word processors have become more popular than computer (in Japan), the word processor is one kind of computers after all, and it is exclusive computer only for writing a document. The Computers manage the bank system for example the balance recording on the bankbook, and automatic examining tickets at the station, and today's vending machines. In fact, the game machines at amusement arcade are the computer itself. Not only the things above-mentioned, the computer is coming to be used more and more for the household electric appliances. And today, it becomes difficult to looking for the household electric appliances which have no relation with computer.

Well, these computers in the machines was controlled by the program, and after all, the program is created by person called programmer.

The company which makes computer programs is not called program house, but called soft house or software company.

There are many fields and various scale in actual work. The level of program is multifarious, from the level which one programmer finish with humming to the level that ten programmers or hundred are needed. The computer engineer who makes the program is called SE or system analyst and so on, but the difference among these name is trivial thing. So in this book, the person who make computer program are called programmer.

Well, what is the program ? The program is one kind of language which sentences are composed in some settle rules like human language, and which can't be understood by normal person. (I am sure that you can't understand at all the more any more.)

If you are interested in the programming language, I recommend you to try reading any book about computer language at bookstore or library. In Japanese (or English), you can find something which impossible to be understood, the explanation, figures, and the enumeration of sign which furthermore impossible to be understood. This is the true character of the program. If you won't become a programmer, it doesn't need to know in detail about computer language. And, there is no reason why someone who can understand programming language has to be respected.

If, in your surrounding, you can recognize the computers and computer engineers, they might be thinking in front of the monitor which display the row of the sign and figurer which could not be understood for you, or input something earnestly with typing his keyboard. What mirrored in monitor is the program.

And even if tiny disposal is wanted to be done, they would be required to write over hundred lines with this unreadable language. If complicate disposal was required, ten thousand lines, in some case hundred thousand lines, have to be written. And the wrong orders are done faithfully.

I'm sure that you have ever found a ugly writing which couled not be understood, or which causes your rage for its only long and the point not be clarifyed. You have been able to find such sentences with many misspellings and the contents of them are filled with errors. You might have been able to encounter the document unacceptable to keep reading, not because of its difficulty but because of too much poor style.

Even the sentence of the mother tongue is such condition. Let's think about the situation that the sentence written in foreign language as English is required. A man of ability will be able to make sure what dose he want to say without any trouble, but a man luck of ability can not express his issu, farthermore make misunderstanding. In some cases, dealing would be abort, and damages might occur in worst case.

The program is really the same case as well. The program which the poor programmer writes seem like the sentence which one in mental derangement writes. The programs written by good programmer are easy to be understood and very well arranged, and the stream of them are very natural.

For my curiosity, I studied about many ugly programs, and the conclusions from my research were serialized in the magazine in Japan. My reports were well received, and they became reorganized to one book. Well many poor programmers are in the world. What surprises us more is many company pay money for them.


Copyright 1996, 1998 Hirofumi Fujiwara. Translated by J.S.
No reproduction or republication without written permission.

the Hidden Realities of Computer Industry in Japan Japanese