considered harmful

(programming, humour)   A type of phrase based on the title of Edsger W. Dijkstra's famous note in the March 1968 Communications of the ACM, "Goto Statement Considered Harmful", which fired the first salvo in the structured programming wars.

Amusingly, the ACM considered the resulting acrimony sufficiently harmful that it will (by policy) no longer print articles taking so assertive a position against a coding practice.

In the ensuing decades, a large number of both serious papers and parodies bore titles of the form "X considered Y". The structured-programming wars eventually blew over with the realisation that both sides were wrong, but use of such titles has remained as a persistent minor in-joke.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 2014-06-21