"We found a bunch of awesome bald men and hurled water balloons at their heads, to capture the explosion of water at various intervals. The result a new head of of water hair! We used a laser and sound trigger to capture the right moments for each subject to create just the head of hair that fit best with the face."
When Kruger and Bobker set it up at Universal, they planned to modernize the concept, infusing it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller.
Further down the shopping list are repeated applications of the Peter Principle, the idea that in an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, that organization's members will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. The principle is commonly phrased, "Employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence." Applying the principle to software, you will find that you need three different versions of the make program, a macroprocessor, an assembler, and many other interesting packages. At the bottom of the food chain, so to speak, is libtool, which tries to hide the fact that there is no standardized way to build a shared library in Unix. Instead of standardizing how to do that across all Unixen--something that would take just a single flag to the ld(1) command--the Peter Principle was applied and made it libtool's job instead. The Peter Principle is indeed strong in this case--the source code for devel/libtool weighs in at 414,740 lines. Half that line count is test cases, which in principle is commendable, but in practice it is just the Peter Principle at work: the tests elaborately explore the functionality of the complex solution for a problem that should not exist in the first place.
Even more maddening is that 31,085 of those lines are in a single unreadably ugly shell script called configure. The idea is that the configure script performs approximately 200 automated tests, so that the user is not burdened with configuring libtool manually. This is a horribly bad idea, already much criticized back in the 1980s when it appeared, as it allows source code to pretend to be portable behind the veneer of the configure script, rather than actually having the quality of portability to begin with. It is a travesty that the configure idea survived. [...]
Today's Unix/Posix-like operating systems, even including IBM's z/OS mainframe version, as seen with 1980 eyes are identical; yet the 31,085 lines of configure for libtool still check if <sys/stat.h> and <stdlib.h> exist, even though the Unixen, which lacked them, had neither sufficient memory to execute libtool nor disks big enough for its 16-MB source code. [...]
This is probably also why libtool's configure probes no fewer than 26 different names for the Fortran compiler my system does not have, and then spends another 26 tests to find out if each of these nonexistent Fortran compilers supports the -g option.
That is the sorry reality of the bazaar Raymond praised in his book: a pile of old festering hacks, endlessly copied and pasted by a clueless generation of IT "professionals" who wouldn't recognize sound IT architecture if you hit them over the head with it. It is hard to believe today, but under this embarrassing mess lies the ruins of the beautiful cathedral of Unix, deservedly famous for its simplicity of design, its economy of features, and its elegance of execution. (Sic transit gloria mundi, etc.)
(Yeah, you may guess that he lost me at the "beautiful cathedral" line. I can forgive that for his use of "festering pile".)
The enormous noggin was made both as a stage prop and as a set piece for the group's 1993 music video "Return Of The Crazy One." According to the person who alerted everyone to its existence on Tumblr, whoever last owned the head (not another member of Digital Underground, hopefully) had been evicted from his or her apartment, and was actually living in the head for several weeks before being discovered. And while that might sound uncomfortable, the head is actually big enough to house a full dressing room and an electronic elevator that would lift Humpty out through the giant nose and onto the stage. Also featuring sunglasses that would light up and lips and chin that double as steps, the head originally cost $50,000 to build, and required an 18-wheel truck to transport and a four-man forklift team to move--although it splits into three convenient pieces.