Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 23:12 UTC
Windows "Windows XP was the last client version of Windows to include the Pinball game that had been part of Windows since Windows 95. There is apparently speculation that this was done for legal reasons. No, that's not why." I love these stories.
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Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Ha! A good developer knows how to read code.

I good developer knows how to write readable code (and still keep it efficient).

Sadly not all developers can be bothered to do so and if they've used nondescript variable / functions names as well as weird developer logic, then the code might as well have been deliberately obfuscated.

I've worked on plenty of projects where debugging other peoples code worked out just as time consuming than if I had rewritten the code from scratch. Albeit we're talking smallish projects in those instances.

But a good and well placed comment is better than a 1000 page manual.

I love finding humour comments in other peoples code (comments I'd forgotten about in my own code).

I remember once stumbling across the following within one of Oracle's own APIs for Java / Oracle RMDBS Forms: "This is a terrible kludge". It pretty much summed up the entire product in one line hehe

Edited 2012-12-19 00:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

I once had to maintain an old VB6 app, which had features such as a Sub that traversed 12 pages! If that wasn't enough the original dev used the same handful of (badly named) variables all the way through this epic subroutine for different purposes!

But back to the comment thing; this same dev would insist on adding a comment every third or fourth line, for no reason at all that I could fathom. Highlights included things like:

' Check this out Mike!!

' Processing ...


and my personal favourite:

' Say hello to my little friend!


He would also always (and I mean always) end every Function and Sub with:

'And done.


When I find him, there will be blood.

Reply Parent Score: 5

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

this same dev would insist on adding a comment every third or fourth line, for no reason at all that I could fathom.


My theory is that any "developer" who has unexplainable coding ticks must have suffered some kind of traumatic learning experience. These are people who develop rituals to ward off evil, not people who write code to solve problems.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I good developer knows how to write readable code (and still keep it efficient).

Sadly not all developers can be bothered to do so and if they've used nondescript variable / functions names as well as weird developer logic, then the code might as well have been deliberately obfuscated.

I've worked on plenty of projects where debugging other peoples code worked out just as time consuming than if I had rewritten the code from scratch. Albeit we're talking smallish projects in those instances.

From personal experience, even good devs who have a pretty good idea of what good code looks like can write pretty unreadable code if they are...

1/Coding under strong time constraints, a burst of inspiration, or something else that puts their minds' focus elsewhere.
2/Not able to notice the mess left around until they try to read through it again after a few months without touching it.

The human brain's content indexing abilities are truly a thing of magic, but they become a hindrance when you try to distinguish what's clean from what isn't.

I love finding humour comments in other peoples code (comments I'd forgotten about in my own code).

I remember once stumbling across the following within one of Oracle's own APIs for Java / Oracle RMDBS Forms: "This is a terrible kludge". It pretty much summed up the entire product in one line hehe

These clever snippets become much less funny when you try to figure out what the code actually does, though ;)

Edited 2012-12-19 08:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30



1/Coding under strong time constraints, a burst of inspiration, or something else that puts their minds' focus elsewhere.
2/Not able to notice the mess left around until they try to read through it again after a few months without touching it.


3/Trying to manually obfuscate their own code so as to ensure continued requirement for their expensive services.

The human brain's content indexing abilities are truly a thing of magic, but they become a hindrance when you try to distinguish what's clean from what isn't.


Or to put it another way - if you understand how it works and you need to maintain it, that is all that matters to many coders. It's only when new eyes hit the code that cracks will appear. As someone who has worked on a large body of awful code for the last 5 years (inherited from offshore contract programmers) I can attest to this.


These clever snippets become much less funny when you try to figure out what the code actually does, though ;)


The guys I inherited the code from loved to attest inane changes to themselves. I know them all like dear "friends" and when I see specific names I gently weep and comment out the method and start again from scratch.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

From personal experience, even good devs who have a pretty good idea of what good code looks like can write pretty unreadable code if they are...

1/Coding under strong time constraints, a burst of inspiration, or something else that puts their minds' focus elsewhere.
2/Not able to notice the mess left around until they try to read through it again after a few months without touching it.

The human brain's content indexing abilities are truly a thing of magic, but they become a hindrance when you try to distinguish what's clean from what isn't.

Some good points but I don't entirely agree with point 2 on a personal level.

I tend to rewrite code as I code it (usually because I'm mentally debugging it as I'm programming so find cleaner / more optimal designs as I'm writing it). So the mess generally does get noticed (baring when I'm under time constraints, as you mentioned in point 1.

That's purely my method of programming though. I'm by no means saying it's better or worse, nor that you were right or wrong with your view ;)

These clever snippets become much less funny when you try to figure out what the code actually does, though ;)

Thankfully that example did go on to explain the routine and the reason the for kludge. I just cropped that out of my post as it didn't wouldn't mean much to anyone who wasn't involved in that project.

Reply Parent Score: 4

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

1/Coding under strong time constraints, a burst of inspiration, or something else that puts their minds' focus elsewhere.


I tend to be opposite in these cases. If I'm under time constraints, I'll write cleaner code, or rather, code with a standard design that translates into idiomatic code. If I get time, I experiment with different designs and end up with clever code.

Reply Parent Score: 2

load_mic Member since:
2005-12-13

Well I know I have written stuff that I was ashamed of just to meet a dead line.

Reply Parent Score: 1