= L =
larval stage n.
Describes a period of monomaniacal
concentration on coding apparently passed through by all fledgling
hackers. Common symptoms include the perpetration of more than one
36-hour hacking run in a given week; neglect of all other
activities including usual basics like food, sleep, and personal
hygiene; and a chronic case of advanced bleary-eye. Can last from
6 months to 2 years, the apparent median being around 18 months. A
few so afflicted never resume a more `normal' life, but the
ordeal seems to be necessary to produce really wizardly (as opposed
to merely competent) programmers. See also wannabee. A less
protracted and intense version of larval stage (typically lasting
about a month) may recur when one is learning a new OS or
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.