Then the easter egg was removed and people were complaining that "it's takes the fun, the human out" (as you can also see here)
But what if every command line tool had an easter egg at a particular date/time? Then on every day of the year one of your tools would misbehave. Is this really what we want? What if a safety critical process gets broken because of this.
A recent example:
> We've noticed that some of our automatic tests fail when they run at 00:30 but work fine the rest of the day. They fail with the message "gimme gimme gimme" in stderr, which wasn't expected. Why are we getting this output?
The good kind doesn't do something one way a million times and then suddenly produce a different result given the same input for no good reason like your example date/time shenanigans.
Unpredictable behavior is called not being dependable. Not being dependable is called untrustworthy. Software should always strive to be predictable, dependable, and trustworthy.
But there have also been plenty of fun easter eggs in computing history that didn't needlessly make the software less predictable. We don't need to also throw out the baby.
The easter egg is running it with an undocumented flag. The "error case" is the same as mistyping a command. Sure, you could argue the return code is 0 when it should be != 0 but I'd argue a) if you're using the wrong flags it's your fault and b) if you'd hit --help by chance it would also return 0.
This may or may not be an unpopular opinion, but I'm not particularly fond of all the string mangling going on in *NIX environments. It's great when the output format is well-defined - like many kernel interfaces - but please stop parsing "ifconfig" output!
HA! That's incredibly amusing, considering, you know, Windows 10.
> there's absolutely NOTHING on your computer that isn't planned
There's LITTLE on my Windows VM that IS planned.
I guess that could be said with a straight face only because it was 2005.
Same with login backgrounds for a game a newer wanted, again on my business laptop running Windows Pro?
I often defend MS recently because some of the criticism is really over the top.
Stupidity like that however should be publicized and questioned IMO.
You don’t really believe that, do you?
Some of the problems with Windows 10 may be due to their incompetence but most of it is just greed and their know-it-all attitude.
Unless there is nowhere else.
One of the reasons I don't trust Microsoft is because they know perfectly well that the above aphorism isn't true. They have an effective monopoly, even more so in 2005 when this was written than now. They put a lot of effort into developing and maintaining that monopoly, arguably more effort than they put into building quality software. The idea that we're supposed to trust them because market mechanisms will force them to be trustworthy, after they have worked so hard to destroy those very mechanisms, is Kafkaesque.
It's also not the same thing as being trusted. There are many entities in the world that are trusted despite being neither honest nor trustworthy. (IMHO Microsoft is one of them, but they are far from alone.)
> The goal of Microsoft is not to be honest, it's to be trusted.
Yes, I get that that is their goal. My point is that they are trying to achieve that goal by being disingenuous and deceptive. (And they succeeded spectacularly.)
Microsoft probably has a very high level of trust with a senior corporate IT buyer (CIO) but low levels of trust with a hardcore GNU/Linux believer.
Does that help make it clearer?
(P.S. You probably would have gotten less hate from the downvote brigade if you'd just asked me that in the first place.)
While I can believe there are serious people working on this OS, I often seriously get upset by all the crap Microsoft is putting in Windows.
(There was this time where it downloaded 'Candy Crush' on its own!?). I would prefer a few easter-eggs instead.
Seriously Microsoft, please be coherent.
This post is 13 years old. They may have been totally coherent in 2005 but lost their way by 2018.
If anything I think they were probably less coherent. Remember: this was still the era of Steve Ballmer and - to a much lesser extent by this time - Bill Gates.
They still thought Windows Mobile was going to take over the world of handheld computing, and Silverlight was going to take over rich applications on the web, and on it goes. Vista hadn't even been released and, if you want to talk about incoherent, let's maybe start a conversation about Windows Vista.
Someone must have found it because it suddenly disappeared from all the sites that had it.
I also stuck an easter egg in the Cobalt NASRaQ, back in 1999. It was taken out pretty fast (I had marked it in the code, "THERE IS AN EASTER EGG HERE," then checked it in). It did ship in the first version, though.
It was more fun back then, and we weren't the ones who ruined it.
1. Clippy is hiding in the "school supplies" Office theme.
2. The default user photo in Office 2010 was a silhouette of Bill Gates' mugshot photo. This one is gone in the recent versions.
Both are just images though. No code was harmed in the making of these easter eggs.
Not with hookers and blow, but with their names prominently attacked to and marketed with the games. Especially Atari 2600 games.
If you saw a game by Joy McStickerson, you knew it was going to be a quality game, and often would buy it without bothering to read the reviews.
Didn't cut down on the Easter eggs, though.
I could not find it after a quick glance.
c) No Malicious Code. Developer warrants that the software shall not contain any code that does not support
a software requirement and weakens the security of the application, including computer viruses, worms, time
bombs, back doors, Trojan horses, Easter eggs, and all other forms of malicious code
I'm glad I avoid doing business with the government.
- Start minesweep and press enter; then write "xyzzy" (remember the magic word from Zork) and press alt+enter. The top left pixel of the screen will change color if there's a mine under your coursor.
- For solitare, you could press ctrl+alt+shift when clicking on your stack of cards to get them one by one instead of three by three.
- Also for any program, if you click on the about Window you'd see the windows flag (http://logo-timeline.wikia.com/wiki/Windows) and then if you clicked a couple of times at a specific color (I don't remember exactly this) then you'd see some credits along with a sketch of Bill Gates!
Those were great! So, "why so serious"?
I hope they change their minds someday.
They already clearly don't do that.
It works the other way too - a long time a go I was brought into a particularly challenged SW project (e.g. when we still shipped desktop apps with splash screens), and among other things, I put forward a proposal that we will do exactly the same: let the whole world see who is behind the code. Unsurprisingly, motion was shot down, but I think the mere thought that we might still do it made everyone contribute better code. Maybe. Maybe not.
This set the precedent and that probably can't be changed now with upsetting people. Maybe that is the trick, get in on version 1 with non hidden credits.
There was a move a few years ago to create humans.txt files for websites. This idea died but essentially it was an effort to accommodate credits into web design. Personally I would like to see cats.txt as an Easter Egg feature.
> the OS division has a "no Easter Eggs" policy.
Source: Have been a WP developer for a long time (shoot me) and I've received a FRANTIC call over this idiocy from a client in my early 20s. The user didn't know how they produced it in the first place, was having troubles communicating it to me because welcome to agency work, and I dropped everything because I assumed that the site was potentially compromised (or that the client was lying to me about "the computer virus on their website").
I'm not sure you fully grasped the concept here...
One of the lesser talked about things that was touched on in the Snowden docs is that the NSA sometimes has agents within companies similar to how we traditionally think of the CIA having "assets"
They are like google chnage of the main logo, but in a sneakier way: you will not find them unless you look for them.