Absolutely one of my favourite words in IT. I use it myself in a wide range of contexts and think it is one of the most powerful words in computing lexicon – you could draw direct parallels with the use of “smurf” in the Smurf cartoon where anything indescribable or uniquely belonging to their world was “smurf” or doing something was “to smurf”.
I often use the term to describe:
- Think over the feedback from a design review – “Let me munge that and get back to you”
- Changing the configuration on the network – ” I’ll munge that now”
- Updating documentation – ” Let me munge that doco and the job will be completed”
Munge. Great word.
From the Jargon File
- 1. [derogatory] To imperfectly transform information.
- 2. A comprehensive rewrite of a routine, data structure or the whole program.
- 3. To modify data in some way the speaker doesn’t need to go into right now or cannot describe succinctly (compare mumble).
I don’t much agree with the definition in Wikipedia as it focusses on just a single usage case of such a wonderful word.
In computing, the term munge means to attempt to create a strong, secure password through character substitution. “Munge” is sometimes backronymmed as Modify Until Not Guessed Easily. The usage differs significantly from Mung (Mash Until No Good), because munging implies destruction of data, while mungeing implies creation of strong protection for data.