Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

extremely geeky  extremely geeky

Case 173

Lost Peer

From “The Courtship of Eku and Mugen”: 1

There was a time, as ancient logs recall,
when you and I would Handshake every morn
through packets on an Ether-network borne
our love conveyed by formal Protocol.

So high was your availability,
a timeout span in minutes would I set—
secure that neither POST nor PUT nor GET
would e’er a 504 return to me.

And when your subnet’s firewall arose,
you bade its router map a secret port
through which we could clandestinely consort—
a backdoor assignation, undisclosed.

Discreetly you’d a server-socket bind
to listen at your gate for my connect
But if this host address be still correct,
Then why resounding silence do I find?

My every last connection is refused,
my buffered input streams have all run dry,
the root nodes of our JSON trees I spy
now withered on the heap; they die unused.

Oh! Where can you have gone, beloved peer?
A segmentation fault? A kill-dash-9?
No, say you live! And if the fault be mine,
I’ll every line rewrite ‘til you appear.

‘Til then i iterate from one to n
Yet never take exception when I fail
but catch myself, and log, and weep, and wail,
then sleep an interval, and try again.

Thus furtively alone at night I’ll SYN
and dream that you will send some answer back—
Oh, SYN with me! And promise we shall ACK
until we both lie sated, kiss... and FIN.

I’ll seek thee there with netcat minus-z!
I’ll seek thee here with netstat minus-t!
Let others mock my hopeless loyalty—
They only serve who serve HTTP.

Qi’s Commentary

Mugen liked to code in poetry. Presumably, the seventh stanza is meant to convey an algorithm like this:

    SocketAddress sockAddr = new InetSocketAddress(host, port);
    for (int i = 1; i <= N_TRIES; i++) {
        try {
            client.connect(sockAddr, TIMEOUT_MILLIS);
            return client;
        catch (Exception e) {
            log.warning("weep, wail");
    throw new IOException("give up");

It is theorized that his ten-thousand-stanza epic, The Dromedary, describes a Perl-to-OCaml converter written in C++. No scholar can stay sane long enough to be certain.

1 Dedicated to Stanislaw Lem, with profuse apologies2 to my translators.
2 Guys, please don’t kill me for this. Really, you can skip this one.