A collection of arcane, unpublished, and (by implication) mostly ad-hoc techniques developed for a particular application or systems area (compare black magic
VLSI design and compiler code optimisation were (in their beginnings) considered classic examples of black art; as theory developed they became deep magic
, and once standard textbooks had been written, became merely heavy wizardry
. The huge proliferation of formal and informal channels for spreading around new computer-related technologies during the last twenty years has made both the term "black art" and what it describes less common than formerly.
See also voodoo programming