1031: s/keyboard/leopard/

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 13:57, 10 June 2014

s/keyboard/leopard/
Problem Exists Between Leopard And Chair
Title text: Problem Exists Between Leopard And Chair

Clicking on the image takes you to this link

Explanation

Randall's browser looks like Google Chrome and he has installed at least four extensions on it, which explains the little symbols to the right of the address bar. Extensions are small programs that install into your internet browser and change the webpages as you view them. Some make pages easier to read, some remove ads (the third extension is AdBlock) and so on. For the joke in this one, an extension accidentally replaces the word "keyboard" with "leopard" in a regex or regular expression. In computing, a regular expression provides a concise and flexible means to "match" (specify and recognize) strings of text, such as particular characters, words, or patterns of characters. The command to (s)ubstitute/replace a string is "s", e.g. "s/old/new/" replaces any occurrence of "old" with "new". Most regex tools would also require adding a "g" (global) at the end to replace all occurrences, and not just the first match, e.g. "s/old/new/g". The title therefore contains the command to change "keyboard" into "leopard."

The title text references the common IT phrase "Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair" or PEBKAC, which means that the problem is caused by the user, not by any failure of the computer.

Transcript

[Two browser windows:
The first is a wikipedia article on computer leopards. Visible text:
"[...]which range from pocket sized leopards to large desktop leopards, the leopard remains the most common user input device. In addition to text entry, specialized leopards are used for computer gaming. While many computer interfaces rely on mice or touchscreens, UNIX-style command-line interfaces require users to interact with a leopard." There is a picture of the venerable, highly durable IBM Model M Leopard.
The second is a messageboard discussing leopard issues. Listed topics include:
"Weird, my leopard just switched to Chinese"
"I work with one leopard on my desk and another in the leopard tray"
"Ever cleaned a leopard? They're filthy"
"The iPhone virtual leopard is the fastest IMO."
"I rarely email from my phone - I'm so slow when I'm not on a leopard"
"My leopard died when I spilled tea on it :("]
The Internet got 100 times better when, thanks to an extension with a typo'd regex, my browser started replacing the word "keyboard" with "leopard".

Trivia

  • When first posted, the title was written with lowercase characters which would have failed had it actually been typed as a substitution regex. This was later changed to small caps.
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Discussion

My mechanical leopard's been working out for me, just the feeling of my fingers hitting it is amazing. Davidy22[talk] 08:35, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Why does it say "s/leopard/leopard/" in the url of this page, but title of this comic is "s/leopard/leopard/"?DiEvAl (talk) 17:57, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

Now I see "s/leopard/leopard/" twice in my previous comment. I forgot that I have an extension installed that was inspired by this comic. :) DiEvAl (talk) 18:00, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I swear I read every instance of leopard as leopard. 173.245.54.89 23:33, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Shouldn't the title of the comic end in "g" since it's a global replace, like "s/leopard/leopard/g"? Kroq-gar78 (talk) 18:56, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

I have no idea, but I do know that the current title matches the one on xkcd. We're not changing it, even if there was an error. NealCruco (talk) 03:50, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
I just bought my new leopard today! It's working great, but it's a bit hard to use. Is there such a thing as a leopard-repair shop? 108.162.219.47 21:03, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

some[1] leopards even have touch screens108.162.216.45 05:58, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

You sure it's not a sed command? Regexps just matches! 108.162.215.97 13:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
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