# KWICK SÖRTMarch 18, 2018 10:09 AM   Subscribe

IDEA Instructions Common algorithms in the form of IKEA instructions.
posted by Artw (22 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

Public Key Krüpto needs the "you'll need two people" illustration.

And all of them should have the "person on the phone with IKEA for help" illustration except the phone line goes to Stack Overflow.
posted by jedicus at 10:18 AM on March 18, 2018 [14 favorites]

Brilliant!
posted by xtian at 10:53 AM on March 18, 2018

So glad that I was a technical writer back when we used actual words.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 11:55 AM on March 18, 2018 [5 favorites]

These are a clever idea (“educational cartoons about computing”) executed in a cute way (“IKEA!”) but they confuse the heck out of me. I think that the style preference is what does it in: adding in a few words would really go a long way. (Here I’m thinking of something like the Cartoon Guide To Statistics as being the actual end goal of this project.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:26 PM on March 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

True test of these instruction sheets is presenting them in an intro computer programming class.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:32 PM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Quicksort one is brilliant - the motivation for the algorithm is made very clear.

I am disappointed in the Bogosort one, as it didn't use the canonical method of throwing the pack of cards in the air.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:35 PM on March 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

Those are super-cute.
posted by leahwrenn at 12:49 PM on March 18, 2018

Haha, these are delightful. Thanks.
posted by Peter H at 12:55 PM on March 18, 2018

I think they work better for the sort algorithms than for the others; every time I’ve had to understand a sort algorithm I basically end up thinking in pictures like this anyhow.

But for One Stroke Draw I felt like it doesn’t explain *how* to divide the nodes into two groupings, and for krypto it’s not really saying how it works, just the structure.

My favorite parts though are the crying stick figure when something has failed. Like, you know, oops you tried to build this bed without a buddy. Or oops you broke your bookcase because you didn’t build it on a carpet. But here it’s “oops your graph isn’t traceable by an Eulerian path” or “oops your balance tree doesn’t have that number”.
posted by nat at 1:27 PM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

Ok, I'll be 'that guy', ever tried to use ikea directions? I've had a dresser become piece of abstract art following those directions. Don't implement a new security protocol using stick figure algorithms.
posted by sammyo at 2:17 PM on March 18, 2018

Don’t implement a new security protocol using stick figure algorithms.

Right, but this isn’t for implementation, just for teaching. It’s worth noting that, as designed, these were to be used in conjunction with a set of lectures, and not as a stand-alone item. As a stand-alone tool, they’re meh.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

As a non-techie, it’s pretty apparent that one must already understand the processes being described in order to understand the instructions. I have no earthly clue what any of them are describing.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:31 PM on March 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

sammyo: Abstract art, you say?
posted by BiggerJ at 8:19 PM on March 18, 2018

This might help?
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on March 18, 2018

I just picked up Quantum Physics For Babies, which is kinda the same concept (though it yada-yada-yadas over the actual definition of "quantized"). Now I'm thinking about explaining public key cryptography to our son with these diagrams... The literature is all ready set for children's books, you know?

"This is Alice. This is her friend Bob. Hi Alice, hi Bob!"
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:28 PM on March 18, 2018

they confuse the heck out of me.

You're probably missing the Allen key. Make sure the little plastic bag isn't hiding under the flap in the bottom of the box.
posted by flabdablet at 9:52 PM on March 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

Waiting for "Public Key Cryptography: how to recover from incorrectly placed dowels that were inserted in a hurried first pass".
posted by rongorongo at 2:26 AM on March 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

Ok, I'll be 'that guy', ever tried to use ikea directions? I've had a dresser become piece of abstract art following those directions.

I did (and do) a lot of IKEA furniture assembly, and I never had that problem. The trick is to really follow the instructions, religiously, even if they don't seem to make sense at first, and not trying to find shortcuts. And to group the different screws, nails etc. on a towel first, so you don't accidentally use that screw which is a bit longer than the one you're supposed to use, and then when you need that longer screw, it is one of the 30 screws you already screwed in, and the shorter one doesn't do, and now you have to improvise and are figuratively and literally screwed ...
posted by ojemine at 6:41 AM on March 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

We once bought a cabinet thingie from Home Depot and I’m still bitter about the non-IKEA instructions every time I look at the wonky, scarred up thing.
posted by Artw at 6:46 AM on March 19, 2018

Needs møre ümłåütš.
posted by erniepan at 7:07 AM on March 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

\m/
posted by flabdablet at 7:41 AM on March 19, 2018

I thought I understood all those algorithms until I tried to decipher those diagrams and now I'm not so sure.
posted by Xany at 11:10 PM on March 22, 2018

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