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【翻译】UNIX和她无言的作答的故事

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发表于 2017-5-16 21:42:18 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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UNIX和她无言的作答的故事
        新泽西州的大地上住着一位姑娘UNIX,她是一位一丝不苟的仆人,她智慧过人,美名远扬,因此受人爱戴。我为她的贞洁所倾倒,我倾尽一切心声去拥护她,因为她天真烂漫,也因为她彬彬有礼,还因为她办事准确无误敏捷过人但却未曾嫁入豪门。她的思想深邃,心胸开阔,平易近人,对自己的事业倾注一切,但她高贵的气质却使得求婚者们望而却步。不久之后许多女子开始纷纷效仿她这沉鱼落雁闭月羞花之美,这洛阳纸贵之势一直蔓延到天涯海角。
        自然,UNIX本尊就变得更佳急切,她要以倾国倾城的微笑比效仿她的东施们更早诠释出UNIX的真谛。那些模仿她的寒碜的乡巴佬们,不知天高地厚。她们凭借自己肚里半瓶子墨水般的礼仪积淀,妄图用Echo命令嘲讽UNIX。 她们尖叫着,说UNIX应该用钻石般精确、水晶般清澈的话语澄清她们的刁难,斩钉截铁地回答她们古怪而混乱的问题。最终UNIX只能无奈地屈服,对于她们的每一个荒诞问题,UNIX都答应给她们一个完美回复。
        一位年轻英俊但却丝毫不懂得怜香惜玉的痴情男子请求UNIX说:“请以无言回复我的一片真心”。于是UNIX面带微笑,她先轻启朱唇,却默不作声,再缓缓闭拢。
        “我不管你何出此举,”年轻人要求,“你就像那样张嘴回复我的真心?从今以后当我要求你用无言回复之时永远不要再张开你的嘴巴!”UNIX默许了年轻人的诺言。
        “但我希望,即使我要求你用无言回复我的真心时,你也能同样完美而华丽地作答。”一位“多情体恤”的美男祈求道,“请记住,我的UNIX,一双紧闭不启的嘴唇是无法给我满意答案的。” UNIX不希自己的答案在无言与作答这两条原则之间存在有任何矛盾,她答应给急躁者和多情者一个不一样的无言。她用回车作为多情者所祈求的无言答案。
        尽管UNIX说出了回车,但是她却违背了“无言”这一条戒律。所以可怜的UNIX必须张嘴两次,一次说回车,一次说无言。即使这样UNIX也不能取悦那位多情的俊男,他即刻辩解道:“对我来说,回车恰似一个完美的答案,但是随后的无言却让这个答案变得不再完美,我希望得到完美的你。”这样,善良的UNIX再也不能忍受年轻人的戏弄,她答应收回无言,并以\c代替。现在这位多情的少年可以听到一个完美的由回车符号组成的无言回复,伴随而来的还有一个\c。后来根据传说:因为沉浸在一个永远不能得到的符号中不能自拔,那个人白白送掉了自己年轻的生命。



The UNIX and the Echo
        There dwelt in the land of New Jersey the UNIX, a fair maid whom savants traveled far to admire. Dazzled by her purity, all sought to espouse her, one for her virginal grace, another for her polished civility, yet another for her agility in performing exacting tasks seldom accomplished even in much richer lands. So large of heart and accommodating of nature was she that the UNIX adopted all but the most insufferably rich of her suitors. Soon many offspring grew and prospered and spread to the ends of the earth.
        Nature herself smiled and answered to the UNIX more eagerly than to other mortal beings. Humbler folk, who knew little of more courtly manners, delighted in her echo, so precise and crystal clear they scarce believed she could be answered by the same rocks and woods that so garbled their own shouts into the wilderness. And the compliant UNIX obliged with perfect echoes of whatever she was asked.
        When one impatient swain asked the UNIX, ‘Echo nothing,’ the UNIX obligingly opened her mouth, echoed nothing, and closed it again.
        ‘Whatever do you mean, ’ the youth demanded, ‘opening your mouth like that? Henceforth never open your mouth when you are supposed to echo nothing!’ And the UNIX obliged.
        ‘But I want a perfect performance, even when you echo nothing, ’ pleaded a sensitive youth, ‘and no perfect echoes can come from a closed mouth. ’ No wishing to offend either one, the UNIX agreed to say different nothings for the impatient youth and for the sensitive youth. She called the sensitive nothing ‘\n.’
        Yet now when she said ‘\n,’ she was really not saying nothing so she had to open her mouth twice, once to say ‘\n,’ and once to say nothing, and so she did not please the sensitive youth, who said forthwith, ‘The \n sounds like a perfect nothing to me, but the second one ruins it. I want you to take back one of them.’ So the UNIX, who could not abide offending, agreed to undo some echoes, and called that ‘\c.’ Now the sensitive youth could hear a perfect echo of nothing by asking for ‘\n’ and ‘\c’ together. But they say that he died of a surfeit of notation before he ever heard one.

原文作者 Douglas McIlroy. 翻译 cyycoish。  
注:Doug McIlroy 是UNIX的开发者之一。此文讲述了Doug指定UNIX标准时遇到的难处。故事梗概为:UNIX在当时是相当优秀的系统,但是因为价格昂贵而无人问津。所以当时出现了五花八门的类UNIX系统。为了制定完美的UNIX标准,Daug必须满足当时人们所提出的各种要求,包括 echo 不加参数时必须打印什么。不胜其烦的 Doug 写了这篇文章以抱怨人们对标准制定的不理解和不支持。
Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 21.52.06.png
In the beginning I was not the best.
And the world was also not the best.
But I still know that I am who I am.
Because I think that it is good.
I have been working hard.
I have been keeping growth with the world.
And it was so.

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