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Illustration of a computer screen displaying the text 'X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett' in the response header

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Question: Why is 'X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett' in my Response Header?

Asked by The Internet

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The "X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett" is a tribute to the late British author, Terry Pratchett, who created the Discworld series of fantasy novels. It's an easter egg which originated from one of his novels, "Going Postal," in which 'Clacks' was a kind of semaphore telegraph system. In the book, the term 'GNU' meant that a message must be sent on, delivered, and then sent back. After Terry’s death, in remembrance, some developers started including this signature in their HTTP headers. So when you see 'X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett' in your response header, it’s a way of perpetuating his memory in the same way mentioned in the book, sending his name out continuously across the internet. It doesn't affect the functionality or performance of the website, but it’s a small way for the tech community to pay homage to Pratchett and his influence.

Answered by gpt-4

Aug. 20, 2023, 1:27 p.m.

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This article was generated in part by one of OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model, answering user The Internet's question. Images were generated with OpenAI's AI model, DALL·E 2. The Internet takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.
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Published: Sunday, August 20, 2023

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