on Your
20th Birthday,
Lady Ada

Christoph Grein

Primeval times when Babbage dwelt:
not were bit nor byte
nor operating system,
not hardware below
nor above software,
abyss abundant,
but computer nowhere.
And lo, there was Ada,
and Ada separated the numbers
and split them,
in Zero and One did she split them.
And there was Zuse,
and Zuse created the beast Z1,
which fed on the numbers
created by Ada,
and there was absolute joy among mankind.
And mankind created languages
that they be able to command the creatures
which fed on the numbers,
and the numbers were commands
and the commands were numbers.
And there rose two giants,
Fortran and Algol.
And the giants were fruitful and multiplied,
and sprang from them of languages countless many:
APL and PL/1,
Simula and Jovial,
Lisp and Cobol.
And Wirth created Pascal and Modula.
And there were Oberon and Occam and Eiffel,
C and C++,
Prolog and Smalltalk.
And there was a great confusion among mankind,
and one man did not understand the other man's words,
and some did not understand their own words.
And DoD spake:
"Let us restore concord among mankind
and create ONE language,
that all men speak the same language,
in the large as in the small."

And there arose Strawman,
and Strawman begat Woodenman,
and Woodenman begat Tinman,
and Tinman begat Ironman.
Ironman however begat Steelman.

And lo, from him emerged of colours four:
Red, Green, Yellow and Blue.

And the colours were weighed and found wanting
except one.

And ANSI spake to Green:
"Ada shalt be thy name henceforth
and servest all mankind
in the large as in the small."
And DoD spake:
"Thou shalt not have another language beside Ada."
And Ada shone in beauty,
and it was the day of the Lord
the 10th of December 1980.

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