What is the most beautiful computer program?

The null program (i.e. empty program):
  • In many languages it’s a quine (a program that prints its own source code).
  • Full test coverage by default.
  • Has a cyclomatic complexity of 1, the smallest possible value.
  • Runs in O(1).
  • People think their first program is “hello world”, but actually the first valid program they have written is most likely the null program.
  • Is very portable, not just across operating systems and compilers but also across programming languages.
  • Is at the base of every other program ever written.
  • Sometimes, it is the program being written (The /bin/true Command).
  • It literally breaks the charts on all metrics that are “per line of code”.
Everything else is downhill from there :)

Guest Author

Vladislav Zorov

programming enthusiast.
Lives in Bulgaria


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