Like in here, to describe something horribly ugly?

So Microsoft purchased a bit of middleware and fashioned it into Direct3D Version 3. It was universally reviled. And with good reason; looking at D3D v3 code is like staring into the Ark of the Covenant.


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    It melts your face. – Minnow Dec 8 '15 at 2:01

According to the Bible, looking into the Ark of the Covenant means divine retribution, usually in the form of death.

1 Samuel 6:19:
And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men...

(I found this quote here at Movies.SE, in reference to the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which the Ark of the Covenant appears as a real artefact with great power.)

  • +1 That’s the reference, alright, but I think “according to Christian belief” is a bit strong. – Jim Dec 8 '15 at 1:22
  • @Jim Fair enough; edited. – Rand al'Thor Dec 8 '15 at 1:40
  • Not sure what you would use instead of “according to Christian belief” - after all it is part of Christian mythology. – Cargill Dec 8 '15 at 2:20
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    Just to add: looking at D3D v3 code is like staring into the Ark of the Covenant. is fairly over-the-top language, and I would probably dismiss it altogether. Some of those coding types can get a bit full of themselves. – Cargill Dec 8 '15 at 3:25

The physical ark of the covenant, as written within the bible, has a description that sounds far from "ugly". The ark itself was a chest, carved of fine wood and inlaid with gold. Inside of the Ark were the tablets of the Ten Commandments, a jar of manna, and Aaron's Rod that budded (Heb. 9:4). It served as the symbol of the very presence of God. To capriciously look within it, as a mere object of curiosity, would have been an act of disrespect to God himself then and the reasoning for divine retribution.

All of that being said, I would say that the phrase "looking at D3D v3 code is like staring into the Ark of the Covenant" is only a reference to the speaker's self-assessment that he suffered and metaphorically died trying to read it.

As stated by Cargill, it appears to be nothing more than an over the top expression.

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