I remember that in one of my graduate school classes at University of Wisconsin – Madison, professor Rastislav Bodik (he had left UW Madison and gone to UC Berkeley since) showed us this article Reverse Engineering the Twelve Days of Christmas from Microsoft Research while explaining some compilation theories.

To this day, this is still the program I admire the most. I still wonder how Jim Coplien created such an elegant program which, even trying to understand the reverse engineered version remains a daunting task.

In order for every "modern" programmer to grasp the true beauty of the original program, I have modified it slightly so it will run in Visual Studio 2005. Try it yourself!


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