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I'm having a hard time thinking where might be the right site for a question about half-remembered computer science lore: I vaguely remember a story about a C guru and a Unix scripting guru challenging each other to solve a certain problem (the details of which escape me). The short of it is that the C guy (who was no slouch) came up with a valid, but complicated solution, requiring pages of code, and the Unix guy came up with a one- (or few-) liner that consisted of chaining together some of the standard Unix utilities. Is there an existing Stack Exchange site suitable for questions on computer science "lore" like this? (I'm asking in order to find the story details - the remembered details that I just described weren't sufficient for google to find a hit)

(Funnily: the Science Fiction & Fantasy Exchange is a great site where the community amazingly comes up with finds to authors' half-remembered details of books, movies, and such)

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  • $\begingroup$ I would try Stack Overflow. $\endgroup$ Jun 27 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ There may not be a good place on the network for questions of this type, at all; this particular one is not about computer science but about programming, it seems, so it'd be offtopic here anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Jun 28 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ It might be this story: Revisiting Knuth and McIlroy's word count programs "Knuth came up with a typically clever, lengthy, low-level implementation. McIlroy then somewhat perversely wrote a six-line shell script that did the job, basically changing the subject away from literate programming and toward a critique of Knuth’s doing something low-level and complicated when unnecessary." $\endgroup$ Jun 28 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ @HendrikJan - I believe that is it -- thank you! $\endgroup$
    – StoneThrow
    Jun 28 at 16:11
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    $\begingroup$ @StoneThrow Although it solves your problem, it still doesn't answer your question. By accident I discovered we now have a SE forHistory of Science and Mathematics, which might be appropriate? $\endgroup$ Jun 29 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @HendrikJan - sounds like a good candidate, indeed! I will ask there to confirm. $\endgroup$
    – StoneThrow
    Jun 29 at 21:36

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