I’m done with “Hello World“.

It’s just so soggy and uninspired. Whenever you see output from a new test program, you should be happy. Huzzah, something is working! But all “Hello World” makes me think of is a sad, wrinkled turtle, peering out of his shell, looking around timidly before speaking. If there’s one fundamental principle of software engineering we can all agree on, it should be this: whatever your program outputs on success, it should never be something that you could imagine being warbled by a turtle.

Just the other day, I installed Apache2 on my home machine via MacPorts fired it up, and the test page said, “It works!” Sweet! Now that’s what I’m talking about.

“It works!” is pretty good, but I think we can do even better. I hereby declare that starting today, the official replacement for “Hello World” is… “HELLOSKI”. When you see “HELLOSKI”, you think of — a cheerful Russian! Who is going to slap you on the back and buy you a drink! Because you are writing awesome, revolutionary software!

Seriously, try it for yourself. The next time you’re writing a “Hello World” program, make it say “HELLOSKI” instead. (If you’re in a web context, be sure to add H1s for full effect.) You’ll be glad you did.