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.

Apr 2022

Counting References

by in CodeSOD on

If you're working in a research field, references matter- specifically, the citations made by your paper and the citations eventually made against yours. But when programming, references can be hard.
Dorothy is a scientist, and understands that code itself is a valuable artifact- it's not enough to just to get the solution, but the code itself needs to be maintanable and readable. So when her peers get into trouble, they frequently come to Dorothy to figure out why.

This Java code is one such example:

Never Don't Stop Not Doing This

by in CodeSOD on

It's not nothing to never write confusing English. And it doesn't never influence the code that we write. Don't fail to look at this anti-pattern from today's un-named submitter.

If Not port Is Nothing Then portUnAvailable = False End If

Confessions of a Deep Copy

by in CodeSOD on

While JavaScript (and TypeScript) may have conquered the world, those languages have… unusual conventions relative to some lower level languages you might encounter. I recently was having a debate with a C-guru, who lamented all the abstractions and promised that well written C-code would forever be faster, more compact, and easier to read that the equivalent code in a higher level language.

That may or may not be true (it's not), but I understand his point of view.


by in CodeSOD on

SQL injection attacks are, in most environments, easy to avoid. Pass user input through parameterized commands and never do any string munging to build your SQL queries. And yet, we constantly see places where people fail to do this correctly.

Eric's co-worker is one of "those" people. They were aware of what SQL injection was, and why it was a risk, but instead of using PHP's built-in functionality for avoiding it, they reinvented the wheel- now in a triangular shape!

A Careless Comment

by in CodeSOD on

Today is a short hit, as there's a comment I want to highlight. This comes to us from Benjamin Urquhart. It's his comment, it's his code, and it's his confession.

// See #ISSUE // This is not the place to monkey patch this // issue, but it's like 2am and quite frankly // I don't care anymore.

Modus Pwned

by in CodeSOD on

Conditionals are a constant source of problems for some developers. Russell F inherited some code which needed to take a list of parts and filter the list of parts down to something which customers could actually order.

The specific rule was that they needed to include only parts that were: not in stock and not in close out, in stock and not in close out, or in close out but also available. Which, given that business rule, that's exactly what the developer implemented:

Starting Your Date

by in CodeSOD on

So much bad date-handling code is based in people reinventing methods that already exist, badly. That's code that solves a problem people have, that's already solved. But the really special code solves a problem nobody understands or wants solved.

Take this C# function from Luke's co-worker.

Valuable Comments

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When we share code comments, it's usually because they demonstrate some lack of awareness or some carelessness about what's going on. A comment warning "I know I shouldn't do this" or a comment that contradicts the code in a funny way, that's usually what we share.

But today's submission, from Dewey, is a bit different. Dewey wrote the comment, and it was in preparation for some serious refactoring. So this comment is the product of someone spending time to accurately analyze and understand a method, documenting its behavior, and explaining it so the code could be changed to something better. The WTF here isn't the comment, but the code it describes.

Old File

by in CodeSOD on

Let's say you've got an older PHP application. Once upon a time, it was wired together by a pile of includes with no real organization or planning behind the organization. A developer went through and cleaned up the file organization.

That's a happy ending, isn't it? No, it isn't, not for Scott. Because the developer doing the cleanup didn't want to risk breaking any files, and thus didn't actually do any final cleanup. Instead, in the labirynth of a thousand include files, many of them are dead ends containing only:

A Little History

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Source control history can go a long way to telling a story. Take Cassi, who needed to run some PHP software which depended on a few binaries and shell calls to do its job. We can see the initial attempt to locate the path of a binary:

function findPathOf($path)
    if (file_exists("/usr/bin/$path")) return "/usr/bin/$path";
    return "/usr/local/bin/$path";