October 6, 2006

Swear words in program code revealed

by Brian Turner

Computers & Internet

A study using Google Code Search has shown how many times programmers insert expletives into the code of key open source software platforms.

A search was conducted in Python, Perl, PHP, C++, C and C# for common expletives. These are not in the code itself, but instead in comments made around the code for reference purposes.

The results showed that although there were more swear words inserted into the code of the C programming language, when compared to the number of files available per programming language, PHP was found to be top with a 0.6% ratio.

This means that in every PHP program, 0.6% of the source code is likely to be expletives.

The study also found that expletives were much less common in open licenced software, as opposed to licence restricted programming platforms.

The use of the expletives should be of no threat or concern to users of these software platforms.

However, it does make for an interesting Friday afternoon oddity story. :)

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