= H =
hack value n.
Often adduced as the reason or motivation for
expending effort toward a seemingly useless goal, the point being
that the accomplished goal is a hack. For example, MacLISP had
features for reading and printing Roman numerals, which were
installed purely for hack value. See display hack for one
method of computing hack value, but this cannot really be
explained, only experienced. As Louis Armstrong once said when
asked to explain jazz: "Man, if you gotta ask you'll never know."
(Feminists please note Fats Waller's explanation of rhythm: "Lady,
if you got to ask, you ain't got it.")
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.