Compare a program to a military dictatorship to emphasize that correctly-formed computer program instructions are followed literally and without question.

  • Like a military dictatorship, all actors follow orders exactly and immediately when given.
  • If an instruction is malformed, it cannot be followed (i.e., a compile-time error results).
  • If an instruction is given in a way other than the one intended, it is executed as given: The "follower of orders" has no option but to do what it was told. A "bad order" (e.g., dividing by 0) can lead to disaster (i.e., a run-time error); a can-be-followed, but wrong, order can lead to an incorrect result.

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External Source

Interview with Norm Jacobson