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: QOTD, and IOTD 3/19/02; 3:15:37 PM

"It's actually pretty fun to be really tall in the Far East, because you feel a little like Godzilla." -- Robert Bennefield, our 7'-ish director of Ops.

There's software that will determine whether two pieces of code are similar, for purposes of detecting plagiarism in class assignments. But let's say you had software that could detect 'similarity' between two pieces of software. You could also run it on two different parts of the same program to automatically find places where you could benefit from factorization. Shazam! It's like a reduce-to-the-halting-problem proof, only it gives you something good instead of something bad!

Of course, 'similar' for purposes of detecting plagiarism is a much easier concept than 'similar' for purposes of detecting factorability, so you probably can't use existing software similarity software for this purpose. But software to do that would be a very useful tool, especially if you're like me and find it boring to inspect code for factorability.

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