Funny Stories An Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming 2ndEd
Some people have asked if Phyl, the platypus on the cover, is any relation
to me. Or even if he (or is it she?) is some sort of reflection.
Frankly, I don't see the likeness.
There is a picture
of the two of us and you can see for yourself.
(The phyl in this picture was a present from my Editor for the 2nd edition,
Lynne Doran Cote.
I now have quite a collection of phyls, including a
purple beany-baby phyl).
Other phil pictures:
G'Day Mate Phyl,
G'Day Mate Phyl Close Up,
Of course, the presence of the eggs on the cover of the first and
second editions makes us wonder exactly what
sex phyl might be. Maybe he is just a good father, and is watching
the eggs for phyllis.
Actually, the original drawing was made by an artist at Addison-Wesley.
I had little to do with it (other than suggesting the idea of a platypus), and, as
far as I know, the artist had no description of me.
of the book was translated into a variety of languages.
They all had Phyl on the cover, execpt for the French edition.
I always suspected that was because Playpus is not a French word.
The first edition included this description of OOP: ``[perhaps it is
the hope] that this new technique will be the key to increased productivity, improved reliability, fewer cavities, and a reduction in the national debt.''
One day I received a strange e-mail message from the French Translator,
Jacqueline Zizi, asking what the term ``fewer cavities'' meant, and
how it was related to programming.
Without exception, each of the foreign translators have had trouble
with my reference to the bumper sticker that asserts that phenomenon
will spontaneously occur. I've had to explain to each that the
original says ``Shit Happens'', and that in the OO world shit doesn't
just happen, somebody has to make it happen.
Phyl, by the way, also occurs on the cover of my
Unfortunately, the Addison-Wesley artist who had drawn the original phyl
by then had left the company, and the new artist they had wasn't into
Platypuses (or is it Platypii?).
I will admit to not being terribly fond of the picture here. Phyl has lost his
glasses, and to my mind some of his character as well.
My suggestion for the cover was vetoed by AW. What I had wanted was
an image of phyl as reflected in the mirror of a bright red sports car, looking
snappy behind the wheel driving down the road, with the words
``objects are closer than they appear'' at the bottom of the mirror.
I'd still like to see this drawing. (I'm no artist, so unfortunately
I can't do it myself).
(Note, it was finally adopted as the cover for the 3rd edition).
A true story. Shortly after the
first edition was published,
an undergraduate approached Rajeev Pandey, one of my graduate students,
in the hall.
He asked, in a solemn voice, ``how many children does Dr. Budd have?''
Rajeev replied ``Two''. The undergraduate then
said ``oh, I see'' and turned and walked away. Rajeev
chased him down the hall and inquired ``what was the
reason for the question?''. The student then replied ``it
explains the eggs!!''
The true story continues. After the second edition came out,
Tim Justice, another graduate student who had heard the above story, noticed
that there were now three eggs on the cover. He asked ``does your
wife know about this?''
Not really about this book, but about the Java book.
At OOPSLA in 96 in San Jose, my then editor Lynne Cote and
Susan Hartman, my soon-to-be editor, took me out to
dinner. My having finished all earlier projects, Lynne asked
about my current writing plans. I said I had nothing firmly in
mind, but was mulling several ideas in the back of my head.
I sketched two or three possible topics, to which she replied
``those are nice, but I have something different in mind.''
She then sketched the concept for the Understanding Java book.
I thought about it for a few moments, and then said ``well,
I guess I could write that book.'' Her reply was to say
``Great'', and to pull a completely filled out contract from
her briefcase for signing!