RE: Current definition of a hack

From: Matt Fisher (mfisherat_private)
Date: Tue May 19 1998 - 08:24:00 PDT

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    I still go with the Jargon files definition:
    hacker /n./
    [originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe] 1. A person who enjoys
    exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their
    capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum
    necessary. 2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who
    enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming. 3. A person
    capable of appreciating hack value. 4. A person who is good at
    programming quickly. 5. An expert at a particular program, or one who
    frequently does work using it or on it; as in `a Unix hacker'. (Definitions 1
    through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.) 6. An expert or
    enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example. 7. One
    who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or
    circumventing limitations. 8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to
    discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence `password hacker',
    `network hacker'. The correct term for this sense is cracker.
    The term `hacker' also tends to connote membership in the global community
    defined by the net (see network, the and Internet address). It also implies
    that the person described is seen to subscribe to some version of the hacker
    ethic (see hacker ethic).
    It is better to be described as a hacker by others than to describe oneself
    that way. Hackers consider themselves something of an elite (a meritocracy
    based on ability), though one to which new members are gladly welcome. There
    thus a certain ego satisfaction to be had in identifying yourself as a hacker
    (but if you claim to be one and are not, you'll quickly be labeled bogus). See
    also wannabee.
    On Sun, 17 May 1998 mhtat_private wrote:
    > Since the definition of a hack has been greatly exaggerated
    > lately, what is
    > the current definition of a hack in the eyes of computer hacking..
    > /mht

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