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Never let it be said: Apple employees have no sense of humour.

If not, why else would HM Prison Slade's most famous inmate make an appearance in the Mac maker's Cocoa API reference library?

As you can see, Apple's NSString object reference includes a method entitled componentsSeparatedByString: and the write-up mentions one Norman Stanley Fletcher:

Apple's Porridge reference

Click for larger image

Readers of a certain age will recall the reference's, if you will, superclass:

"Norman Stanley Fletcher, you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences — you will go to prison for five years."

Which, of course, are the opening lines of 1970s BBC TV sitcom Porridge. Norman Stanley Fletcher was the show's lead character, played - impeccably - by the great Ronnie Barker.

BBC TV's Porridge. Source: BBC

Porridge lesson: Mr McKay (Fulton McKay, left) lectures Fletcher (Ronnie Barker)
Source: BBC

No reference is made to the show's other characters, Principal Prison Officer MacKay, Prison Officer Henry Barrowclough, Lennie Godber and 'Genial' Harry Grout, but we wonder what other sitcomm references lie imprisoned with Apple's developer documentation. ®

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