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considered harmful


considered harmful: adj. [very common] Edsger W. Dijkstra's note in the March 1968 "Communications of the ACM", "Goto Statement Considered Harmful", fired the first salvo in the structured programming wars (text at `'). Amusingly, the ACM considered the resulting acrimony sufficiently harmful that it will (by policy) no longer print an article taking so assertive a position against a coding practice. (Years afterwards, a contrary view contrary view was uttered in a CACM letter called, inevitably, "`Goto considered harmful' considered harmful'"'. In the ensuing decades, a large number of both serious papers and parodies have borne titles of the form "X considered Y". The structured-programming wars eventually blew over with the realization that both sides were wrong, but use of such titles has remained as a persistent minor in-joke (the `considered silly' found at various places in this lexicon is related).

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