2

Here are two very similar questions (and even used the same picture):

One is closed, one is open. Why?

Below is a copy of the two questions for convenience (since questions get erased from time to time):


Question 1: Is this a photo of Margaret Hamilton standing next to Apollo Project code that she wrote?

The image below is widely circulated on Facebook:

enter image description here]

The caption says:

Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer of the Apollo Project, stands next to the code she wrote by hand and that was used to take humanity to the moon. [1969]

Is it true that:

  1. The photo depicts Margaret Hamilton
  2. Margaret Hamilton was the lead software engineer of the Apollo Project
  3. Depicted is a print-out of the Apollo Project code
  4. Margaret Hamilton wrote the depicted code by hand
  5. Margaret Hamilton single-handedly wrote the code

Question 2: Was this pile of code written by a single team of software engineers?

This article reads:

[This is a] picture of her next to the code she and her colleagues wrote for the Apollo 11 guidance computer that made the moon landing possible. [..] To clarify, there are no other kinds of printouts, like debugging printouts, or logs, or what have you, in the picture.

enter image description here

Was this pile of code really written by a single team of software engineers?

enter image description here

2

The second was closed when it became about a non-existent claim:

I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because there is no claim that it was written by a single team of engineers. – Sklivvz♦ Aug 7 '15 at 18:27

Before then, when it was about the caption, it was left open. It did contain, however, a lot of speculation about font size and other irrelevant stuff, which is what the top comments are about.

The first question is merely about the caption, and as such it is opened.

  • What do you mean non-existent claim? The quote I gave is "[This is a] picture of her next to the code she and her colleagues wrote for the Apollo 11 guidance computer that made the moon landing possible." (I had left it as a comment you never answered to it despite closing the question) – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 29 '16 at 15:04
  • @FranckDernoncourt that is not the a claim that there was a single team of engineers, which is what you are asking about. – Sklivvz Jan 29 '16 at 15:09
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    someone + colleagues = a team – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 29 '16 at 15:09
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    I appreciate that it might seem the same but it isn't. For example, I work in the a team of 10 developers (core q&a team), however my "colleagues" are 250 (stackoverflow team) of which 50 are developers (engineering team). – Sklivvz Jan 29 '16 at 15:13
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    If the definition of team is subjective then the answer could simply specify the size of the group of developers. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 29 '16 at 15:18
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    If the definition of team is part of the answer, then the answer is trivially "Yes". Who else could have written it? – Oddthinking Jan 30 '16 at 2:47
  • @Oddthinking More quote, which got deleted in revision 5 against my will: "The software for the guidance computer was written by a team at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory (now the Draper Laboratory), headed up by Margaret Hamilton." I wonder whether people outside the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory helped in a non-negligible way. – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 30 '16 at 15:42

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