The End

"This is the end.... my only friend" -- JimMorrison (The Doors)

This is the last page on Wiki. That's it. It's the end of the line. Now turn around and go back where you came from. You can, however, go to the end of the internet at But that's it. There is nothing more. See also There's an Earthlink (or somesuch) DSL commercial running about the end of the internet. It would be great to get a DIVX/MPEG of that.

This page is actually a complaint about moded interfaces and the proliferation of escapes that they encourage. Read on for that rant.

"Tha tha that's all folks." -- Porky Pig

An early stumbling block for me in programming was learning the difference between "stop" and "end". In the FortranLanguage, for example, the former halted the execution of the program while the latter halted the compilation. In the '70s, I supported the campaign against modes. This was as much about having a uniform and OutOfBand mechanism to escape one context for another as anything. The campaign failed. This came home to me this morning when I wrote the statement ...

  print "<a href=/cgi/wiki?$&>$&</a><br>\n";

Never mind the cryptic variable name ($&), this statement sucks because it requires eight terminators (almost) in a row. These are ...

There's an < here, which opens the <BR> tag

It sucks because I must remember that I am nested that deep in context and must pop my way out of it before I get on to the next thing I want the computer to do. This gets me wondering, just how many ways are there in use today to say the end?

Windowing GUI's:

Terminals/shells: Unix tools: Protocols: Programming Language Texts: Programming Language Libraries: Text Editors: English: Other languages: Events:
            The red flag ends the race
Radio: Movies: Journalism:

-- CraigPutnam

There's a WM_QUIT message in there somewhere as well. There are also Windows messages that indicate machine shutdown, session termination, and other such events.

As an electrical engineer, I am surprised no-one mentioned the "power switch". Isn't that the normal way to end a DOS session? Also the normal way to stop most other electronic devices. -- DavidCary.... and you can always try to "Pull the Plug" even ? what about pulling that damned phone line ...

Being able to juggle these multiple levels of context is IMHO a fundamental programming skill. One I make sure to spend time with my students on (it comes up when preparing dynamic SQL in VB or C++).

The real problem with the above is the number of levels. Encapsulating the tag-creation nastiness might make things easier. (Pardon any mistakes, but perl is not my lingua mater):

  $lnk = $&;
  print html_a_tag("/cgi/wiki?$lnk") . $lnk . html_a_tag_end() . "<b" . "r>" . $newline;

-- DavidBrantley

A possibly better way is to encapsulate the script-linking code. (I'm sure Ward would have done this if he was writing in Smalltalk rather than Perl.) For instance, in my wiki clone all links to the script are done through through a subroutine:

 sub ScriptLink {
my ($action, $text) = @_;# Gets the subroutine parameters
return "<a href=\"$ScriptName?$action\">$text</a>";

...which is called in any place that needs a link back to the script. Since links to pages are common (used in 7 places so far), I wrapped them in a GetPageLink subroutine (which calls ScriptLink). My version of the above print statement would read:

 print GetPageLink($&) . "<br>\n";

-- CliffordAdams

Those of us who use Forth should also remember that


will end your Forth session. This also will work in OpenFirmware (which is Forth in and of itself, I guess).

When I was at university, I encountered a package for doing statistical manipulation or something, called MINITAB. If you typed "quit" to its command prompt, it displayed the message Type "exit" to leave MINITAB, which has always struck me as a particularly impressive bit of sadism.

 web: {1} % python
 Python 1.5.2 (#11, Nov 17 1999, 22:58:09)  [GCC egcs-2.91.66 19990314 (egcs-1.1.2  on bsdos4)]
 Copyright 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam
 >>> quit
 'Use Ctrl-D (i.e. EOF) to exit.'
Note that "quit" is just a string in the default interpreter namespace. Having "quit" actually leave the application would require "quit" to become a somewhat special syntactic form. In Windows, you're told to type Ctrl-Z then press enter.

Not necessarily:

  class Quitter:
def __repr__(self):
import sys
  quit = Quitter()
Of course, besides being JustWrong? because of side effects in __repr__, this violates UserExpectations? that typing an identifier will not perform an action. (Feel free to delete this if this Python tangent is inappropriate for this page.) -- KevinReid

... but would it have been so wrong to make

 >>> quit()
quit the python interpreter? Like so:
  class Quitter:
def __repr__(self): return "Use quit() to exit."
def __call__(self): raise SystemExit?
  quit = Quitter()

Also note that Matlab does the opposite: it lets you exit with "exit" or "quit" but not with CTRL-D, not even on Unix.

For people using nslookup from their shell accounts at Primenet, "" used to point to the alias "", or something similar.

Using MIT Scheme interactively you cannot exit with the exit command because that is not a valid s-expression. You have to use (exit) instead. Then after a confirmation that you really wanted to exit, it closes with Happy Happy Joy Joy.

-- BenTilly

TheEnd is a classic Doors song ...

This is the endbeau - ti - ful  friend
This is the endmy  on - lyfriend, the end ofour e-lab-orate
plans, the end of ev-erything that stands, the end. 

More at

... and a classic Beatles song from the Abbey Road album ...

Oh yeah, all right
Are you going to be in my dreams

And in the end The love you take Is equal to the love you make.

Interestingly, The End was the last song listed on the LP cover of Abbey Road (their last record they recorded), but not the last song on the album. Paul's little ditty Her Majesty is the last song on the record. Later releases sadly had Her Majesty on the cover.

The first episode of RedDwarf

Sometimes you need to reach an end before something else can begin...

You guys do realize, of course, that since there are WikiNames on this page, it isn't really "the end"... ;-) (I think sumbudy 1 time removed all the WikiNames now it is back in. Maybe is the joke)


The end would be a page with no wikinames on it - a cul-de-reference.

The end starts in another part of the universe; supernovas, blackholes, etc., destroy it only to create another fresh universe.

And this, after the automatically-appended footer, is the end of this page.

...if there wouldn't have been a dork, who put his line under the last line before the footer.




Sing me to sleep, sing me to sleep, I'm tired and I ... I want to go to bed.

The end? You are kidding! It's only the beginning! Every day there is more to see, more to discover, more to learn, more to talk about and more to laugh about. Wiki just never gets old. -- A good friend of Wiki

Ok. It's THE END now. . . . I mean NOW. . ok. I really mean it this time. . . It's THE END NOW

"We Apologise For The Inconvenience"

  --  God's final message to His Creation  (Douglas Adams, So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish)

The end of the internet? See

. (final point)

[nothing here]

(Throw the TV out the window)

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