The Jargon File

A Chronology...The Jargon FileComputer Dictionary
[probably came into prominence with the appearance of the KL-10, none of whose connectors match anything else] n. The tendency of manufacturers (or, by extension, programmers or purveyors of anything) to come up with new products which don't fit together with the old stuff, thereby making you buy either all new stuff or expensive interface devices.
[from LISP]1. v. To add a new element to a list.
2. CONS UP: v. To synthesize from smaller pieces: "to cons up an example".
1. n. A sudden, usually drastic failure. Most often said of the system (q.v., definition #1), sometimes of magnetic disk drives. "Three lusers lost their files in last night's disk crash." A disk crash which entails the read/write heads dropping onto the surface of the disks and scraping off the oxide may also be referred to as a "head crash".
2. v. To fail suddenly. "Has the system just crashed?" Also used transitively to indicate the cause of the crash (usually a person or a program, or both). "Those idiots playing spacewar crashed the system." Sometimes said of people. See GRONK OUT.
1. n. Congenital loser (q.v.).
2. CRETINOUS: adj. See BLETCHEROUS and BAGBITING. Usage: somewhat ad hominem.
(cur'lif, sometimes crul'lif) n. A carriage return (CR) followed by a line feed (LF). See TERPRI.
[probably from "layman" slang, which in turn may be derived from "crock of shit"] n. An awkward feature or programming technique that ought to be made cleaner. Example: Using small integers to represent error codes without the program interpreting them to the user is a crock. Also, a technique that works acceptably but which is quite prone to failure if disturbed in the least, for example depending on the machine opcodes having particular bit patterns so that you can use instructions as data words too; a tightly woven, almost completely unmodifiable structure.
[from "cruddy"] adj. 1. Poorly built, possibly overly complex. "This is standard old crufty DEC software". Hence CRUFT, n. shoddy construction. Also CRUFT, v. [from hand cruft, pun on hand craft] to write assembler code for something normally (and better) done by a compiler. 2. Unpleasant, especially to the touch, often with encrusted junk. Like spilled coffee smeared with peanut butter and catsup. Hence CRUFT, n. disgusting mess. 3. Generally unpleasant. CRUFTY or CRUFTIE n. A small crufty object (see FROB); often one which doesn't fit well into the scheme of things. "A LISP property list is a good place to store crufties (or, random cruft)."
[Note: Does CRUFT have anything to do with the Cruft Lab at Harvard? I don't know, though I was a Harvard student. - GLS]
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