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What's A Chickenlip?

A Chickenlip is a strange and mythical creature from a strange and faraway land. It is rumoured to have the power of all knowledge with the cunning and resourcefulness of ... err... something... thingy.

Chickenlip's name came from a slang term that was picked up at some point during a really late night working on programming labs in college. An abundance of caffeine and sugar were the primary culprits of how this name came to exist.

One of the languages learned at college was the C programming language that was developed in the 70's. It is a very widely used language and is efficient, fast, and if memory serves, was the language used to develop most of the Windows and Linux operating systems. It is a language used to teach computer programming since it is structured and very extensible.

C code is written in blocks that are deliniated by curly braces: { and }.  The left curly brace { opens a code block and the right curly brace } closes a code block. If there aren't an equal number of left and right curly braces in a program, any attempt to build and compile the program will fail horribly. For programs with thousands of lines of code, a missing curly brace causes hair to turn gray, headaches to appear, and uncontrolled sobbing.

Anyway, while programming a lab in a group environment, discussions arose on how to resolve a particular bug that cropped up. The group huddled around a solitary computer and the members were frantically shouting out suggestions on how to fix the problem. Suggestions on logic changes were made and rejected, variable definitions and initialization were investigated and thrown out, and a recommendation to delete everything, drop out of school, and begin a McCareer was brought up, considered, and dismissed.

 In the end, a closing curly brace was found to be in the wrong spot, but the difficulty was in determining where the curly brace belonged. Before long, shouts of "Move that other curly brace up two lines -- no not that curly brace! The other curly brace!" and "How many curly braces in that function? 7 curly braces? We need an even number of curly braces people! An EVEN number! You can't have seven curly braces -- it doesn't jive!!" were heard throughout the halls.

The frustration was mounting and the shouts were getting louder when a solitary voice suddenly cried out, "It's that Chickenlip there -- that one that's indented a little bit!"

There was silence and a new word was born: Chickenlip.

Defined as those curly braces used to organize and separate code blocks in programming languages.

... a long story for a really quick explanation... but perhaps you're better off now than you were when you started reading this page.  :)


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