When a pre-configured website comes out of the box using default templates, it typically displays a “Hello World!” message. This is the traditional initial output used by most software developers to demonstrate that their program is working, or at least to show where some content is supposed to render.
People learning a computer language, operating system, or software platform are often taught to create a program that displays a simple, single line of text. A “Hello World” program, aside from teaching the novice programmer the most basic of commands, verifies two things about the software it is being coded in:
- It accepts input.
- It produces output.
The first “Hello World!” program is said to have originated from Brian Kernighan’s “A Tutorial to the Language B”, published in 1972. However, it appeared in its most famous form in Kernighan’s “The C Programming Language”:
Here is a DOS command that outputs the famous phrase:
Computer instructors can then ask their students to build upon this and make the program more complicated by using variables, string manipulation, etc. Expect to see the “Hello World” program coming up in textbooks, at work and online for years to come.