[Linux-aus] Extent of sco's complaint - birthday paradox

Andrae Muys andrae.muys at braintree.com.au
Fri Jun 6 09:32:01 UTC 2003

Jon maddog Hall wrote:
> I could point out that (to me) code is much more like a fingerprint.  There
> would seem to be only a certain number of combinations of swirls and loops
> to make up a fingerprint, yet they can seem to determine who killed who from
> them.  Imagine 60,000,000,000 fingerprints (assuming ten on each person)
> and no two the same.  Snowflakes have also fascinated me.

To a large extent I agree, however I can't help but remember a time as a 
student when a lecturer suspected me of plagarism.  My friend and I were 
asked to explain a programming assignment we had each developed and 
submitted independently.  We found no fault with the lecturer as when he 
showed us our assignments they were for all intensive purposes 
identical, including in many cases variable names[1].    The issue was 
cleared up as we were both able to explain the thinking behind the code, 
and it was obvious neither of us needed to cheat.  However I have never 
forgotten the way identical forces, and similar training/background can 
sometimes lead to strikingly similar solutions.


[1] How many counters are called i/j/k, and if you're walking a list 
what do you call the current/next/previous pointers?  Input files will 
be named some variant on inFile/input/inputfile.

Andrae Muys                       But can it generate *quantum* Haiku
<andrae.muys at braintree.com.au>    error messages, in Latin, where each
Engineer                          line of the error message is a
Braintree Communications          palindrome? -- Mike Vanier on perl

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