PlePuProPro: The Pledge to Put Prolog in Production

We, the undersigned, pledge to advance the cause of Prolog in Production, be it to the detriment of our software, careers, or personal relationships.

We promise to take any opportunity to put Prolog in Production, and to manufacture opportunities where none would otherwise exist.

We will not accept negation as failure*.



*Except in production.


While the Pledger is free to take whatever approach they believe is most likely to result in Prolog in Production, we present here some templates for noble failure.

1. Propositional

This strategy requires a significant investment of time, will likely deal non-trivial amounts of damage to your professional reputation, and almost certainly will not work.

It proceeds as follows:

The Propositional Prolog In Production Strategy

You will likely experience different results from each iteration. The speed at which you progress through the main sequence will vary from company to company, but the broad progression is as follows:

  1. Hearty laughter at your good joke.
  2. Mild chuckles at your reused but still acceptable joke.
  3. Silence.
  4. Uncomfortable silence.
  5. Chuckles from the new guy who has not heard your joke.
  6. Realisation that you are not making a joke.
  7. Pitying silence.
  8. Firing.

Vanishingly few users of the Propositional strategy have reported success, so we recommend this only in situations where you are seeking an exit for other reasons, and then only when what you are seeking to exit is software development as a profession.

2. First-Order

The trick here is to first assume power over an organisation. By rising to the level of CTO, say, a Pledger has considerably more scope for dictating requirements, and can usually browbeat subordinates into carrying out their will, while firing the non-compliant.

These factors, combined with a hiring strategy focused on recent graduates from Russell Group computer science departments (a phone screen is highly advised if one is to avoid Haskellers), can prove invaluable in introducing Prolog to Production.

Care must still be taken, as projects undertaken in this manner will be obviously your responsibility. A successful user of the First-Order Strategy must be able to recognise the signs of early stage collapse, and plan their exit accordingly so that the inevitable copious blame adheres to their successor.

3. Modal

The wily Pledger uses fashion to full advantage. The JVM is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment; using words such as “isomorphic”, it is increasingly easy to introduce a language such as Clojure/Clojurescript to an organisation without giving any hint as to your ultimate goal.

Once your Clojuran Horse has been wheeled into the courtyard, core.logic can slip out under cover of night. Casually mention to a colleague that it simplifies many problems “in the Hickey sense” – you may hear a soft whooshing noise followed by a fiendish clatter of mechanical keys as your victim succumbs.

From here it is a simple step to suggest that Prolog might be a natural fit for rewriting some of the company’s constraint solver logic. Your colleagues will be googling “Prolog Java interop” before they even begin to suspect what you’ve done to them.

The obvious advantage of this strategy is that, done well, no-one will know where to point the finger when things go a bit cut-fail. On the other hand, in the vanishingly unlikely circumstance that Prolog proves a roaring success, you will be unable to take any credit.

This is an instructive reminder that the Pledger must act without ego.


Q: What if Prolog is not suitable for my employer’s problem domain?

Prolog is not suitable for any problem domain, although this is more readily apparent for some domains than others.

If your employer’s field is so dramatically unsuited to logic programming that even your CEO has suspicions – video transcoding, say – try suggesting that they pivot to a new field, such as spam filtering.

Q: Will PlePuProPro get me fired?

This is a distinct possibility, and we recommend that only experienced contractors or people otherwise adept in dodging, transferring or reflecting blame attempt to fulfil the PlePuProPro in plain view of business stakeholders.

See the Strategies section for safer covert techniques.

Q: How do I pronounce “PlePuProPro”?

We recommend that you do not.

PlePuProPro is already highly viral in nature, and if the pledge’s title, its abbreviation, the pledge itself or any of its constituent parts are recited aloud in company, the effects could be devastating.

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