cookbook

[from amateur electronics and radio] n. A book of small code segments that the reader can use to do various magic things in programs. One current example is the `PostScript Language Tutorial and Cookbook' by Adobe Systems, Inc (Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-10179-3) which has recipes for things like wrapping text around arbitrary curves and making 3D fonts. Cookbooks, slavishly followed, can lead one into {voodoo programming}, but are useful for hackers trying to monkey up small programs in unknown languages. This is analogous to the role of phrasebooks in human languages.