Easter egg recognition?

Subject: Easter egg recognition?
From: "Geoff Hart" <Geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 08:02:58 -0400

Barbara Stuhlemmer has <<...been approached to have the
product of my endeavours recognised through an Easter Egg
in the software. I'd never heard this term before, but
apparently it is quite popular with software programmers.>>

"Popular" isn't the word for it... "endemic" maybe? Easter
eggs exist in most software, and my take on this issue is that
even where management would like to stamp out the practice,
they're willing to look the other way because it keeps the
programmers happy. So it's generally unofficially tolerated
even where the official policy is to stamp it out. (Even mighty
Microsoft isn't immune; Excel has a pinball game built into it,
and Word has a flight simulator... or is that vice versa?
Anyway, I've seen and played both, so I know they're there.
And before you ask, no, I don't have the instructions any
more, but they should be easy to find on the Web. Try
searching for "Easter egg" and Word or Excel.)

<<I am not sure how the company feels about this...>>

If you ask, they'll probably say no; if they catch you, they
probably won't do much more than say "tsk", particularly
since it's obvious that as a nonprogrammer, you couldn't have
been the one who did it and couldn't know for sure who
actually programmed it. If you're really worried about this,
the easiest compromise is to suggest the programmer add a
list of "production credits" to the help file under "About
Product X"; that's also common, and unlikely to raise any

<<I am not used to getting any recognition (outside my
department) for the products I produce. It feels weird.>>

Pat yourself on the back. The fact that a programmer wants to
acknowledge you means that you've made at least one friend
on the development team. Build on that base until it no longer
feels weird!

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all those sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I
that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence." George Miller, "The Magical Number Seven" (1956)

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