in reply to XY Problem

In case you thought this is a new problem you might want to read the first chapter of Jon Bently's book Programming Pearls (ISBN 0201657880) that was originally published in 1989. In article Cracking the Oyster starts with: "The programmer's question was simple ... my mistake was to answer his question". He then goes on to discuss how he gets at the programmer's real problem.
-- gam3
A picture is worth a thousand words, but takes 200K.