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.

Jun 2019

The Honeypot

by in CodeSOD on

Pitor works for a web development shop. They’ll develop and design sites, usually pretty simple ones, for their customers. They’ll host them. They’ll update them. Every once in awhile, a customer will think “we could do this cheaper in house!” and takes their site and their contract to a cheap webhost.

Sometimes, those customers come back when they realized their mistake.


Whose Tern is it to Play?

by in CodeSOD on

Every once in awhile, someone sends us some code from a game. Now, I’ve never delved deep into game development, aside from making a 3D asteroids game as a final project for a class twenty years ago, but I’ve also read an article about how fast inverse square root works, and know that you shouldn’t blow in a Nintendo cartridge, so I’m basically an expert, and I understand that under the constraints of games, some of the rules about clarity and maintainability go out the window.

But Adam S found some code that’d be just plain bad in any context:


This Null Leaves Me Feeling Empty

by in CodeSOD on

Stella needs to interface with a cloud-hosted marketing automation system. The documentation isn’t particularly great, and her organization doesn’t have anyone with any serious experience with the stack, so she’s been trying to find examples and wrapper libraries that can make it easier.

She found one. While digging through the wrapper code, she found this block:


Is Thinking Range Empty?

by in CodeSOD on

Susi inherited some code which she fortunately wasn't expected to maintain. She had a worse problem: she was expected to figure out what it did so that a new version of the software could be created. No one actually understood all the ins-and-outs of the software, there was no document that fully specified what it did, but it was absolutely business critical and every feature needed to continue to work, even if no one knew exactly what those features were.

Features and functionality aside, internally, everything was stringly typed, and I do mean everything. Why use a struct in C++ when you can use a character delimited string? Why use a class when you can instead use multiple different kinds of delimiters to mean different things? Susi found cases where they stretched to delimiters involving characters Susi didn't even know existed, like the double o̿verscore.


Sorted by Title

by in CodeSOD on

Dictionaries/Maps are usually implemented on top of some sort of hashing system. This isn’t precisely required, but it allows extremely fast access by key. The disadvantage is that the data isn’t stored in any human-friendly order.

Cicely’s co-worker had a problem with this. They wanted to store key value pairs- specifically, the titles of a media item, and the actual object representing the media items. They wanted to be able to fetch items by their title, but they also wanted to be able to present the items sorted by their title.


This Event is Quite the Do

by in CodeSOD on

Benjamin inherited some code from a fellow developer. The original author of this code wrote a lot of code for the company, and that code drives a lot of products which make the company piles of money. Tired of making money, that developer left to go open a restaurant.

Which means Benjamin is now responsible for maintaining code which lives in 15,000 line files where class-level variables are essentially treated as globals. There's also a lot of misunderstandings about how Windows Forms GUIs work.