Starting today you face what may be the biggest challenge of your programming careers;
in recent years, the movement for standard user interfaces, file-format compatability,
and useful documentation has turned computer users soft, weak, and complacent. No
longer are computer users the rough, ready-for-anything, "Marlboro-Geek"-style pioneers
they once were.
This form of complacency attacks the very heart of our national security; increasingly,
users are becoming dependent on software that works, programs that are easier to use
than it would be to write one's own--the way we used to do it, the way it should be done.
We are becoming, in short, a nation of dummies.
Our mission--and we must not take this responsibility lightly, for the very sanctity of our
precious bodily fluids depends upon what we do here in these coming weeks and months--is to
shatter this complacency that infects the fiber of our national character. We must dedicate
ourselves to writing software that is almost-but-not-quite compatible with standard hardware,
drivers, and file formats, software that will entice users for many hours or days with visions
of that holy grail of video editing, the possibility of getting something completed on
schedule, perhaps even getting to spend as much as a tenth as long actually editing as is
devoted to fighting with the bugs in the software.
We must invent from scratch an entirely new and different user interface, one that will be
both visually exciting and different, while retaining none of the features or conveniences
that users have come to expect. It must add the excitement and time-wasting-ability of the
most sophisticated adventure games to the task of finding even basic functions--and, to keep
people thinking and searching, leave out many of the most obvious ones entirely.
Less glamorous, perhaps, but no less critical to the success of our mission, is the documentation.
If I catch anyone writing an entry into the on-line manual or into the context-sensitive "help"
system that in any way provides meaningful information or threatens to answer a question that a
user might have, you will immediately and without recourse be transferred onto a team in charge
of writing documentation in a language you'd never even heard of before.
And with these principles firmly in mind, let us embark upon our sacred crusade to shake our
nation's dummies from their slack-jawed, "I don't need to write my own application software,"
stupor, and thus bring peace, prosperity, and purity to their precious bodily fluids. Remember
that if even one video editing project gets completed on time using the software we are to begin
writing today, we will have failed. But we shall not fail; we shall ...
Hey, wake up, you slackers! I'm delivering an inspirational speech here!