Significant whitespace

Steve Holden steve at
Mon Jan 4 12:54:37 CET 2010

r0g wrote:
> David Robinow wrote:
>> On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 10:42 PM, Roy Smith <roy at> wrote:
>>> In article <mailman.386.1262576043.28905.python-list at>,
>>>  David Robinow <drobinow at> wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM, Tim Roberts <timr at> wrote:
>>>>> More than "not required", it was "not relevant".  This led to one of the
>>>>> most infamous programming blunders in the early days of the space program,
>>>>> when one programmer accidentially typed a period instead of a comma
>>>>> resulting in the loss of a satellite:
>>>> Interesting story. Did you make it up?
>>> It's a fairly well known story.
>>  Sure. But the question is, "Who made it up?"
>> Computer folklore has incorrectly attributed the loss of the Mariner 1
>> space probe to a syntax error in a Fortran program. For example,
>> "Recall the first American space probe to Venus, reportedly lost
>> because Fortran cannot recognize a missing comma in a DO statement…"[
> Wow you're totally right! It was a missing UNDERSCORE not a DOT being
> typed instead of a COMMA! We've been lied to ALL ALONG! What kind of
> sickos would do this? Let's find this Tim character, flay him alive and
> then go crown you the KING OF EVERYTHING for rescuing us from that
> deadly nugget of misinformation!
> Honestly I might have believed those dot/comma LIES if it wasn't for
> your noble selfless efforts to uncover the SHOCKING TRUTH. Imagine what
> might have happened! The character in question being an UNDERSCORE
> COMPLETELY CHANGES the meaning and point of the story. As for it being
> LEFT OUT rather than TRANSPOSED, well, anyone can see how that TURNS THE
> Of course there are the naysayers who might claim absolute accuracy is
> no big deal in stories that are essentially parables but they do not
> understand the HARM that can come from not remembering really tiny,
> almost inconsequential details. For what it's worth I DO NOT consider
> you a tiresome pedant and I think your taunting, patronising style is
> completely appropriate and proportional to Tim's sickening crimes
> against fact.
> Roger.

Personally I think the overall tone of this group would have been
marginally improved if you had summoned the self-restraint to simply not
make this posting.

Fortunately it's still an unmoderated group, so you can continue to be
as hostile and snarky as you like.

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
PyCon is coming! Atlanta, Feb 2010
Holden Web LLC       

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