Monday, May 5, 2008

Testing 1-2-3 and foobar

I have a habit of using strings for sanity tests and tutorials such as: "hello world", "foo bar" and "Testing 1-2-3". I believe I got these from looking at other persons code and reading RFC's. Out of boredom, I googled these strings and found out they have colorful history attached to them:

1. "hello, world" - There is almost no programming book and tutorial that doesn't teach you how to display this word. The string "hello world" first came out with Brian Kernighan's "The C Programming Language" in 1974 and has become the basis for introducing programming languages. (

2. "Testing 1-2-3" - was the first ever email message sent by ARPANet's Ray Tomlinson in 1971. Although Ray himself vaguely remembers it (It could've been "QWERTYUIOP" or "Testing 1 2 3 4"). (

3. "foo & bar" - if you happen to read IETF RFC papers (Request for Comments), you'll often come across with these words. Most of the times I noticed that they are used as variable names. The term foobar was first found in DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) manuals during 1960's. One theory is that is came from the term "FUBAR" meaning "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair". (,

Although I can't assure you that my resources are true, it still quite fun digging through wikipedia pages. :)

1 comment:

Xyldrae said...

cool! :D I like the FUBAR thing.