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Communications of the ACM

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The Software Inferno


The Software Inferno, illustration

Credit: Colin Johnson

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Preface: the software inferno is a tale that parallels The Inferno, Part One of The Divine Comedy written by Dante Alighieri in the early 1300s. That literary masterpiece describes the condemnation and punishment faced by a variety of sinners in their hell-spent afterlives as recompense for atrocities committed during their earthly existences. The Software Inferno is a similar account, describing a journey where "sinners against software" are encountered amidst their torment, within their assigned areas of eternal condemnation, and paying their penance. In an attempt to preserve some of the original Inferno's spirit and archaic prose, I have reused a few fragments of originally translated text taken from SparkNotes3 and am grateful to include this classic verbiage.

The topology of the Software Inferno is captured in the accompanying figure and describes the setting for the sorrowful tale you are about to read.


 

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