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[bug-hello] hello(1) infected by aberrant-capitalising meme

From: Peter McArthur
Subject: [bug-hello] hello(1) infected by aberrant-capitalising meme
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 21:29:40 +0000

Dear hello(1) Maintainers,


There is an error in the capitalising of the English output of
hello(1).  In the sentence "Hello, world!" World is being addressed as
a named entity, which means that "World" should be capitalised as a
proper noun.

(If you doubt my orthography, consider the difference between "Hello,
Father!" and "He is my father.")

I believe that this bug, which is far from unique, stems from an
aberrant meme which is being transmitted through the vector of
programming language tutorials.  By correcting and documenting this
bug in your canonical, free implementation of the hello [K&R, 1978]
algorithm, we can make some progress towards stamping it out.

The traditional greeting format is not affected by this bug because it
uses a different capitalisation convention.  Only the standard and
next-generation greeting formats should be changed.


In the following example session, I give corrected output [in square
brackets] immediately after the lines of incorrect output:

$ hello --version
hello - GNU hello 2.1.1

Copyright (C) 1992, 1993, 1997-2001 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
... / ...
$ hello
Hello, world!
[Hello, World!]
$ hello --traditional
hello, world
$ hello --next-generation
| Hello, world! |
[| Hello, World! |]


I have attached a patch for hello.c, which I generated by running the
following command from hello(1)'s source directory:

sed -e s/'Hello, world\!'/'Hello, World\!'/ hello.c | diff - hello.c >

I imagine that most of the documentation can be patched in a similar
fashion.  (For example, "sed -ie s/'Hello, world\!'/'Hello, World\!'/
hello.info" will do an in-place patch on the info(1) file.)


Peter McArthur

Attachment: hello.c.diff
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