Considered Harmful

What Does Considered Harmful Mean?

“Considered harmful” is a kind of insider IT slang phrase that talks about how IT experts present insights into technologies that could have a negative impact on something. The term arose originally from a statement in the 1960s published by renowned Dutch programmer Edsger Wybe Dijkstra that criticized the prolific use of go-to statements in programming languages of the era.

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Techopedia Explains Considered Harmful

Over time, the phrase “considered harmful” caught on. People
started to use it to talk, often sarcastically, about items that could be
considered harmful to the programming culture as a whole. Modern examples
include things like “Turing test considered harmful,” “’with’ statement
considered harmful” and “XMLHttpRequest considered harmful.” The general idea
is that anything can be labeled considered harmful, either based on elaborate
technical explanations of its disadvantages, or on some kind of facetious
satire on the serious deliberations and warnings of IT experts on some subject, as in the satire “considered harmful statements considered harmful.”

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.