= B =
by hand adv.
[common] 1. Said of an operation (especially a
repetitive, trivial, and/or tedious one) that ought to be performed
automatically by the computer, but which a hacker instead has to
step tediously through. "My mailer doesn't have a command to
include the text of the message I'm replying to, so I have to do it
by hand." This does not necessarily mean the speaker has to
retype a copy of the message; it might refer to, say, dropping into
a subshell from the mailer, making a copy of one's mailbox file,
reading that into an editor, locating the top and bottom of the
message in question, deleting the rest of the file, inserting `>'
characters on each line, writing the file, leaving the editor,
returning to the mailer, reading the file in, and later remembering
to delete the file. Compare eyeball search. 2. By extension,
writing code which does something in an explicit or low-level way
for which a presupplied library routine ought to have been
available. "This cretinous B-tree library doesn't supply a decent
iterator, so I'm having to walk the trees by hand."
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.