The worst abuse of the C preprocessor

Col. G. L. Sicherman

Judges' comments:

This program abuses the C preprocessor so much that some /lib/cpp’s fail to strip out all of the comments on the first pass! If you were able to understand Decot’s entry in 1984, you will have a head start on this one.

Be sure to run this program through lint! If your lint works correctly, it should warn you that the argument ‘Manual’ isn’t used. Like the program says, what’s that mean?

Run the program without arguments and enter the letters ‘a’ thru ’m' on a line. Now enter the letters ‘n’ thru ‘z’. But to borrow a quote from Richard Stallman: If you think you understand what this code does, then you don’t, so read it again! Explain why:

sicherman < sicherman.c | sicherman | diff - sicherman.c

results in diff reporting a difference on some machines.

Copyright © 1985, Landon Curt Noll & Larry Bassel. All Rights Reserved. Permission for personal, educational or non-profit use is granted provided this this copyright and notice are included in its entirety and remains unaltered. All other uses must receive prior permission in writing from both Landon Curt Noll and Larry Bassel.