Recent CodeSOD

Code Snippet Of the Day (CodeSOD) features interesting and usually incorrect code snippets taken from actual production code in a commercial and/or open source software projects.

Dec 2018

Trim the Tree

by in CodeSOD on

Tis the season to think of trees.

Our Anonymous submitter has a program with a tree in it, and it’s a relatively big one: 7 levels deep, with 200,000 leaf nodes. Oh, and it’s managed in client-side JavaScript. In other words, it’s the sort of thing you really want to make sure you’re accessing efficiently.

A Short Leap

by in CodeSOD on

You know the story. A report is spitting out the wrong dates. Someone gets called in to investigate what’s wrong. After digging through piles of deeply nested SQL queries and views and trying to track down the problem, it turns out someone wrote their own date handling code which is wrong.

Darin P found the code this time.

Identify Yourself

by in CodeSOD on

Brian B stumbled across a bit of code to generate UUIDs. Seeing that tag-line, I was worried that they invented their own UUID generator. The good news, is that they just use java.util.UUID. The bad news is that they don’t understand how if statements work.

public class UuidGenerator implements IdentifierGenerator {

    private String profile;

    private Map<String, String> map;

    public Serializable generate(SessionImplementor session, Object object) throws HibernateException {
        UUID id = UUID.randomUUID();

        if(session.getFactory().getDialect() instanceof H2Dialect){
            return UUID.randomUUID();
        if( session.getFactory().getDialect() instanceof org.hibernate.dialect.PostgreSQLDialect ){
            return id;

        return id;

Strongly Unrecommended

by in CodeSOD on

Asynchronous programming is hard. Because it’s so difficult, developers are constantly trying to find ways to make it simpler, whether it’s promises or callbacks, or the async/await pattern. It gets more difficult when you need to deal with handling exceptions- when a task fails, trying to recover from that failure in a separate thread is an extra special challenge.

Which brings us to Betty’s co-worker. Using C#’s Task objects, which tie into the async/await pattern, they wanted to simply ignore any exceptions thrown by one of those tasks. That’s your first WTF, of course. Their approach, however, is a larger one:

The Key to Using Dictionaries

by in CodeSOD on

It's easy to use dictionaries/maps to solve the wrong kinds of problems, but deep down, what's more elegant than a simple hashed map structure? If you have the key, fetching the associated value back out happens in constant time, regardless of the size of the map. The same is true for inserting. In fact, hash maps only become inefficient when you start searching them.

Concetta recently started a new job. Once upon a time, a developer at the office noticed that the user-facing admin pages for their product were garbage. They whipped up their own internal version, which let them accomplish tasks that were difficult, time-consuming, or downright impossible to do in the "official" front end. Time passed, someone noticed, "Hey, this is better than our actual product!", and suddenly the C# code that just lived in one folder on one developer's machine was getting refactored and cleaned up into an application they could release to the public.

Stringed Out

by in CodeSOD on

The line between objects and maps can sometimes get a little blurry. In languages like JavaScript, there’s really no difference between the two. In Python, the deep internals of your classes are implemented essentially as dicts, though there are ways around that behavior.

In a language like C#, however, you’ve got types, you’ve got property definitions. This can offer a lot of advantages. When you layer on features like reflection, you can inspect your objects. Combine all this, and it means that if you want to serialize a data object to XML, you can usually do it in a way that’s both typesafe and generally doesn’t require much code on your part. A handful of annotations and a few method calls, and boom- any object gets serialized.

Golf Buddies

by in CodeSOD on

Hiring people you know is a double-edged sword. You already have an established relationship, and shared background, and an understanding of how they think and act. You’re helping a friend out, which always feels good. Then again, good friends don’t always make good co-workers, and if you limit your hiring pool to “people I know” you’re not always going to find the best people.

Becky’s boss, Chaz, tends to favor his golf buddies. One of those golf buddies got hired, developed for a few months, then just gradually ghosted on the job. They never quite quit or got fired, they just started coming in less and less until they stopped coming in at all.

Chunks of Genius

by in CodeSOD on

Brian recently started a new job. That means spending some time poking around the code base, trying to get a grasp on what the software does, how it does it, and maybe a little bit of why. Since the users have some complaints about performance, that's where Brian is mostly focusing his attention.

The "good" news for Brian is that the his predecessors were "geniuses", and they came up with a lot of "clever" solutions to common problems. The actually good news is that they've long since moved on to other jobs, and Brian will have a free hand in trying to revise their "cleverness".