TTTO “Merlin”, by Douglas MacArthur

Another bug in the code tonight
Just over here, it is not quite right
Dawn’s not too far away

I heard the newbies chat on IRC
Will they have something good to see
When they wake up the next day

Well it’s late at night and the stars are deep
That’s ok I don’t need sleep
Coffee’s helpful for quite some time

But I have to fix that situation
And I need to clone that application
‘Cause I know that it can’t run on WINE

I think that some ideas I found
When I searched and looked around
And I need to rest my brain

The compile is slow and I have to wait
And I hope that it won’t make it late
The compiler is so lame

The file format is not quite understood
The standard says “must” and not “should”
I feel like I’ve hit a wall

And I don’t know when and I don’t know how
And I think I will fix this somehow
This problem is so small

Well I remember the day I started here
Tinged with excitement and some fear
As I’m coding up this clone

They said “such good programs can’t be free”
They mocked my crashes, and they laughed at me
As I’m coding this now alone

The pundits kissed my chance goodbye
And said “there is no chance, it will die,
It won’t change a thing ‘round here”

And over their shoulders, high on their horse
The users read and they said “of course,
Let’s away this failure we will steer”

The hackers cheered when they saw my smile
The hits went up and slashdot went wild
As this day I won the race

For hours coding made their mark
Hunched and typing in the dark
I can hardly wait to see the user’s face