The Sound of an Unheard Treefall

by in Error'd on

Brett N. starts us off today with a timely notification that he received late on the 24th

and race conditions


A Bit of Power

by in CodeSOD on

Powers of two are second nature to a lot of programmers. They're nearly inescapable.

Equally inescapable are programmers finding new ways to do simple things wrong. Take Sander's co-worker, who needed to figure out, given a number of bits, what's the largest possible value you could store in that number of bits. You or I might reach for our language's pow function, but boy, in C++, that might mean you need to add an include file, and that sounds hard, so let's do this instead:


We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

by in News Roundup on


You’ll have to stay patient with me on this post, since the point I will eventually get to really is the confluence of a number of different threads that have been going through my head the past few weeks.

Let’s start with my time in business school from 2007 to 2009. Charles Dickens couldn’t have penned a better dichotomy between the beginning and end of my time in school. In short: 2007 = the economy couldn’t be better, 2009 = the economy couldn’t be worse.


A Lack of Progress

by in CodeSOD on

Progress bars and throbbers are, in theory, tools that let your user know that a process is working. It's important to provide feedback when your program needs to do some long-running task.

Hegel inherited a rather old application, written in early versions of VB.Net. When you kicked off a long running process, it would update the status bar with a little animation, cycling from ".", to "..", to "...".


Self-Documented

by in CodeSOD on

Molly's company has a home-grown database framework. It's not just doing big piles of string concatenation, and has a bunch of internal checks to make sure things happen safely, but it still involves a lot of hardcoded SQL strings.

Recently, Molly was reviewing a pull request, and found a Java block which looked like this:


The Timing is Off

by in Error'd on

Drew W discovers that the Daytona 500 is a different kind of exciting than we ever thought.

XXX Wins the Daytona 500


Spacious Backup

by in CodeSOD on

Today's anonymous submitter works on a project which uses Apache Derby to provide database services. Derby is a tiny database you can embed into your Java application, like SQLite. Even though it's part of the application, that doesn't mean it doesn't need to be backed up from time to time.

Our submitter was handed the code because the backup feature was "peculiar", and failed for reasons no one had figured out yet. It didn't take too long to figure out that the failures were triggered by not having enough space on the device for a backup. But they definitely had a enoughFreeSpaceForBackup check, so what was going wrong?


Shorely a Bad Choice

by in CodeSOD on

"This was developed by the offshore team," is usually spoken as a warning. There are a lot of reasons why the code-quality from offshore teams has such a bad reputation. You can list off a bunch of reasons why this is true, but it all boils down to variations on the Princpal-Agent Problem: the people writing the code (the agents) don't have their goals aligned with your company (the principal).

Magnus M recently inherited some C# code which came from the offshore team, and it got principal-agented all over.


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