= Q =
quote chapter and verse
quine /kwi:n/ n.
[from the name of the logician Willard
van Orman Quine, via Douglas Hofstadter] A program that generates a
copy of its own source text as its complete output. Devising the
shortest possible quine in some given programming language is a
common hackish amusement. (We ignore some variants of BASIC
in which a program consisting of a single empty string literal
reproduces itself trivially.) Here is one classic quine:
(list x (list (quote quote) x)))
(list x (list (quote quote) x)))))
This one works in LISP or Scheme. It's relatively easy to write
quines in other languages such as Postscript which readily handle
programs as data; much harder (and thus more challenging!) in
languages like C which do not. Here is a classic C quine for ASCII
For excruciatingly exact quinishness, remove the interior line
breaks. Here is another elegant quine in ANSI C:
Some infamous Obfuscated C Contest entries have been
quines that reproduced in exotic ways. There is an amusing
Quine Home Page.
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.