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Nearest Book Meme February 20, 2008

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Software Development.
Tags: , ,

I apologize in advance for this meme. I am going to protect the anonymity of the person who did this before me, inspiring me to such witty prose. Really. I’m sorry.

Very sorry.

Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
“Software Requirements,” by Karl E. Wiegers. I’m sure you were hoping for something a bit more exciting.


Sorry to disappoint.

Find Page 123.
Oh… this should be scintillating. This is in “Chapter 7: Hearing the Voice of the Customer.” In case you haven’t prepared yourself for this, it’s a book written by a software developer, teaching other developers how to make sure that legions of irate users don’t stalk them into the parking lot as they prepare to drive home after a long day of listening to user requests, and promptly ignoring them.

Find the first 5 sentences.
It starts in mid-sentence on 123, so let’s just skip that, shall we? It wasn’t a particularly well-written sentence anyway.

The next three complete sentences are part of a section that’s boldfaced: External interface requirements, and includes a description of getting this from an SRS (System Requirements Specification) along with a bulleted list of what external systems will expect the system under question to do.

Asleep yet? I thought so. I would skip ahead to the index, and tell you how it turns out, but if you’ve used most modern software you know how it ends (the blue screen of death).

Post the next 3 sentences.
You’re going to be sorry.

Constraints. Design and implementation constraints legitimately restrict the options available to the developer. Devices with embedded software often must respect physical constraints such as size, weight, and interface connections. Record the rationale behind each constraint so that all project participants know where it came from and respect its validity.

Aren’t you sorry you started reading this post? I’m wondering why I just typed that in.

Tag 5 people.
And force them to humiliate themselves by divulging how boring their lives are? I think not!


1. Tiffany Taylor - February 20, 2008

Was that the nearest book at work or at home? Probably everyone has a book nearby when they’re at work that isn’t particularly interesting to the general public, because it’s most likely related to that person’s specific job. Mine is the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. But if I move out of my work area and into my home area, then the nearest book is “The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker” (http://www.amazon.com/Rejection-Collection-Cartoons-Never-Yorker/dp/1416933395/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203529771&sr=8-2) which is bound to be funny to almost anyone. If you were reaching for a book at home, it would probably be about sports, or humor, or something less code-intensive.

2. Tim - February 20, 2008


That’s probably true, but in my case, depending on where I was posting from, it might not get much better. The closest book to where I usually set up the laptop at home is (if I remember correctly), “The Holman Bible Commentary.” Something tells me that page 123 of “Software Requirements” is going to have a similar appeal. 😉

However, in the interest of science, I’ll check as soon as I fire it up tonight! – Tim

3. Tiffany Taylor - February 23, 2008

>> I’ll check as soon as I fire it up tonight >>

And the answer is –?

4. Tom - February 24, 2008

Max Lucado 3:16 The Numbers of Hope
pp.123 paragraph
5th Sentence – But the 3:16 promise? (actually a question)
Next 3 – I’ve long since deposited that check. It bears interest every day and will forever. Yours will too.

5. Tim - February 24, 2008


Still geeky. What’s close at hand is “The Faith: A History of Christianity,” by Brian Moynahan. I just glanced through the text referenced by the meme, and it’s got roughly the same broad appeal for the average reader that “Software Requirements” has. 😀 I was hoping for it to be a relatively objective look at Christianity, but instead it reads more as devotional material. It’s fine, but I was looking for something else.


Is that along the lines of Donald Knuth’s book? If so, that would be fabulous reading from Lucado. – Tim

6. the page-123 meme « more than the sum of my parts - March 5, 2008

[…] the fifth sentence/phrase, and blog the next four sentences/phrases. I saw this meme last week on Tim’s blog. At that point, the nearest book to me was The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and […]

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