The Social Network

They both date back to the 70s, and both camps are fiercely competitive to the extent it’s dubbed a “holy war” and has a dedicated wikipedia entry.The code is written in a scripting language called Perl, and it’s real code which would work in real life, so it gets top marks..However, as a script, it’s got some style issues..In universities, computer scientists look down on physicists..That’s because physicists are also taught how to program, but not to the same degree and so their code is always considered amateurish and horrible..They have a reputation for merely bashing things together, with not much understanding, until it sort of works — which makes perfect sense if you’ve ever seen string theory.The same applies with hacking..Hackers often throw together tools quickly, and with no regard to style and elegance, which is looked down upon by the Old Masters who use vi and have long grey beards.For some esoteric hacker history, around 2006 there was a hacker zine called Perl Underground, which solely existed to critique the Perl code used in various hacker scripts..That’s right, hackers who would methodically go through hacking tools available on the web, and critique other hackers’ code like some sort of Grammar Nazi Dexter..Suffice to say, those guys would not have looked kindly on Zuck’s mess..Although, to be fair, spending your day snarkily criticising other hackers’ code is the sort of behaviour that causes even people who live in basements to think you should get out more.Extract from Perl Underground: getting angry at bad Perl code since 2006So the script is crappy, but it’s also realistic..Zuck clearly wasn’t a master programmer at that age (he’s not now), and he wrote this quickly while drunk; so you wouldn’t expect it to be high quality..It’s enough that it works.The film’s also cheated on how to work out if a picture is of a man or woman..Zuck’s script only works if every House’s face book just happens to have their photos split into “male” and “female” folders.. More details

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