Every programmer would have come across this test statement “hello world” in their experience. Even a big data analyst programmer or a tester or even a beginner’s first code that they execute would be this test program to print a hello world statement. Have you ever wondered how this test statement originated and the reason behind this? Let us take a look at it.
Around 49 years ago, this test phrase got coined in the book A Tutorial Introduction to the Language B written by Brian Kernighan which was published in the 1970s. This simple phrase was just used to check whether the system is functionally running or not. This test phrase was once again used in Bell Laboratories in 1974 as well as used in the book The C Programming Language in the year 1978. Only after that, this statement became famous. Then from every now and then, this statement was used for every test conditioned code, but not to test the system’s functionality.
But why did Brian Kernighan pick up hello world and why not any other phrase. In an interview, he gave us an answer to this question. He said that somewhere in his life he had seen a cartoon that showed a chick just coming out of an egg and the cracking sounds came with the captions that said hello world. This attracted him and just got stuck into his brain. This paved the way for his brain to write this phrase for testing purposes.
To mention the use of this test statement as mentioned earlier is useful for the beginner level programmers to get acquainted with the new language. Other than this, it is used as a test case statement to check whether the compiler and environment have been correctly installed. Even ethical hackers use this statement to check whether the arbitrary code can be executed. Another popular use of this hello world statement is that we can compare the size of the executables that the language generates and the supporting infrastructure behind the program.
As modern languages are creating revolutions in the tech industry, the hello world statement is executed at different levels of sophistication. Languages like Python and Ruby need only a single statement to print this and some low-level languages like Malbolge create complexity to print even a hello world statement and are not easily understood by humans. Though many languages come and create a revolution in the industry, this hello world phrase still remains a superpower for many programmers out there. Both as a testing and teaching tool, this has become a standardized way of allowing programmers to run their desired environment.
No person is sure why this one stayed and still stays as a test of time in this rapid-fire and creative innovation industry. Forever, the hello world statement stays as a supremacy line for every programmer and is inevitable.
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