Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason


App::QuoteCC - Take a quote file and emit a standalone program that spews a random quote


Compile a quotes file to a stand-alone binary:

    curl http://v.nix.is/~failo/quotes.yml | quotecc -i - -I YAML -o - -O C | gcc -x c -o failo-wisdom -
    curl http://www.trout.me.uk/quotes.txt | quotecc -i - -I Fortune -o - -O C | gcc -x c -o perl-wisdom -

Or to a fast stand-alone minimal Perl script:

    curl http://v.nix.is/~failo/quotes.yml | quotecc -i - -I YAML -o failo-wisdom.pl -O Perl
    curl http://www.trout.me.uk/quotes.txt | quotecc -i - -I Fortune -o perl-wisdom.pl -O Perl

See how small they are:

    $ du -sh *-wisdom*
    56K     failo-wisdom
    44K     failo-wisdom.pl
    80K     perl-wisdom
    76K     perl-wisdom.pl

Emit a random quote with the C program:

    time (./failo-wisdom && ./perl-wisdom)
    Support Batman - vote for the British National Party
    < dha> Now all I have to do is learn php
    <@sungo> it's easy.
    <@sungo> take your perl knowledge. now smash it against child pornography

    real    0m0.004s
    user    0m0.000s
    sys     0m0.008s

Or with the Perl program:

    $ time (perl failo-wisdom.pl && perl perl-wisdom.pl)
    I just see foreign words like private public static void feces implements shit extending penis
    <@pndc> Imagine if cleaners were treated like sysadmins. "I've just
            pissed all over the office floor; it's the cleaner's fault."

    real    0m0.022s
    user    0m0.012s
    sys     0m0.004s

Emit all quotes:

    ./failo-wisdom --all > /tmp/quotes.txt

Emit quotes to interactive shells on login, in /etc/profile:

    # spread failo's wisdom to interactive shells
    if [[ $- == *i* ]] ; then


I wrote this program because using fortune(1) and Perl in /etc/profile to emit a random quote on login was too slow. On my system fortune(1) can take ~100 ms from a cold start, although subsequent invocations when it's in cache are ~10-20 ms.

Similarly using Perl is also slow, this is in the 80 ms range:

    perl -COEL -MYAML::XS=LoadFile -E'@q = @{ LoadFile("/path/to/quotes.yml") }; @q && say $q[rand @q]'

Either way, when you have a 40 ms ping time to the remote machine showing that quote is the major noticeable delay when you do ssh machine.

quotecc solves that problem, showing a quote takes around 4 ms now. That's comparable with any hello wold program in C that I produce.


Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <avar@cpan.org>


Copyright 2010 Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason <avar@cpan.org>

This program is free software, you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.