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Representative Line: hnjbbbbynbhhhhhhhhhhhh

Five years ago, someone at Adam‘s company made a commit. Like all good commits, it touched 200 individual files and 3,500 lines of code, and the commit message was simply: ‘Fixed‘. One of those 200 files was a .h header file, declaring a long pile of function prototypes. One of them is this one. It has no implementation, and isn‘t used anywhere: void eXosip_suhnjbbbbynbhhhhhhhhhhhhbscribe_free (eXosip_subscribe_t * js)

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A Military Virus

The virus threats we worried about in the late 90s are quite different than the one were worrying about in 2020, because someone looked at word processors and said, You know what that needs? That needs a full fledged programming language I can embed in documents. Alex was a sailor for the US Navy, fresh out of boot, and working for the Defense Information School. The school taught sailors to be journalists, which meant really learning how to crea

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Error‘d: Just Pick Something, Dummy!

Dave L. writes, Spotted an option on Lenovos Pick Your Laptop by Spec that seems to be aimed, possibly, at the less than experienced laptop buyer. Wow! Nothings better than highlights like these! wrote Jani P. Youve heard about SOAP? Yeah, well look out world...here comes SOUP! Paul G. wrote. Chris S. writes, Welcome to the Birmingham Airport! Courtesy of TeamViewer. I guess if I really like this movie, I can have it mounted on my wall. I

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The Renegade Datacenter

The bank Edward worked for had a datacenter problem. Said datacenter resided in the basement of their headquarters. Over a twenty-year period, it had been expanded twice, and now covered the entire floor. There was simply no place left to go. The datacenter contained everything from state-of-the-art racks to 10 Ethernet hubs that no one had touched in a decade, and many of these mission-critical components were situated directly upon the floor.

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CodeSOD: Translatovno

Let‘s say you‘re a native English speaker. Let‘s say you‘re writing a library which is going to be used by Czech speakers, like our submitter Jan Krynick. You‘ve been told to make sure the code is usuable by them, so you decided to use C#‘s annotations to provide Czech documentation of various fields. There‘s just one problem: you don‘t know Czech. You know enough to know that the Czech equivalent

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Error‘d: You Must Agree!

Apparently they dont want you to Strongly Agree with everything they say! wrote David S. When updating some Logitech software recently, I learned that under the right conditions, you can update that which doesnt exist yet, wrote David N. Eric P. writes, I guess that‘s what I get for requesting Ol‘ Dirty Bastard from the jukebox at my local dive bar...which, ironically, was the only sign of any windows in the joint! Maybe I reall

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CodeSOD: Tern Java Into Python

Thomas K was browsing around, trying to give folks some technical help. While doing that, he found a poor, belaguered soul who had been given a task: convert some Java code to Python. This was the code: if (xGrad * yGrad = (float) 0 /*(1)*/ ? Math.abs(xGrad) = Math.abs(yGrad) /*(2)*/ ? (tmp = Math.abs(xGrad * gradMag)) = Math.abs(yGrad * neMag - (xGrad + yGrad) * eMag) /*(3)*/ tmp Math.abs(yGrad * swMag - (xGrad + yGrad

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Error‘d: Let‘s Dazzle Them with Errors!

Hmmm...Somehow, I cant seem to remember the password for this particular AppleID, writes Thomas G. The video will be finised processing in roughly 585 million years. (Thats later than the lifetime of some of the stars in the Orion constellation), David K. wrote. Brian A. writes, AWS Canary only speaks English, huh? Sure about that? Every now and then, I change the language of my computer and here is an example of the result, wrote Beatrix W

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CodeSOD: An Ugly Mutation

If there‘s a hell for programmers, it probably involves C-style strings on some level. C‘s approach to strings is rooted in arrays, and arrays are rooted in pointers, and now suddenly everything is memory manipulation, and incautious printf and memcpy commands cause buffer overruns. Im oversimplifying and leaving out some of the better libraries that make this less painful, but the roots remain the same. Fortunately, most of the time

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Wrecking the Curve

Most of our WTFs are produced on modern hardware, but today were taking you back to the dawn of computing, back to the 1960s, when our submitter, Robert, was in college. Rob was taking a class in Numerical Analysis, which allowed people to submit their programs to the university computer (singular, as this was before computers were cheap enough to have a whole lab of 30+ of them just lying around for students). This involved using a keypunch ma

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Error‘d: Luck of the Error

Drew W. writes, Im looking forward to the next months episode, Localized/Consumer-Facing Title where the kids all learn about the pitfalls experienced when attempting to display localized strings. And its the St. Patricks Day episode. Photoshop doesnt always have problems with the display driver, but when it does, Morgan wrote. Modern math is so hard. I just dont know the answer! writes Allan. Vivia wrote, Of course, ticket kiosk systems ar

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CodeSOD: Deep VB

Thomas had an application which was timing out. The code which he sent us has nothing to do with why it was timing out, but it provides a nice illustration of why timeouts and other bugs are a common ‘feature‘ of the application. The codebase contains 9000+ line classes, functions with hundreds of lines, and no concept of separation of function. So, when someone needed to look at an account number and decide if that account needs spe

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CodeSOD: String Up Your Replacement

Generating SQL statements is a necessary feature of many applications. String concatenation is the most obvious, and also the most wrong way to do this. Most APIs these days offer a way to construct SQL statements out of higher-level abstractions, whether we‘re talking about .NET‘s LINQ, or the QueryBuilder objects in many languages. But let‘s say you‘re doing string concatenation. This means you need to have lots of lite

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CodeSOD: Just a Bit Bad

Eyal N works on some code which relys on bit matrices: 2D arrays of bits. Since they are working in C, in practice this means that they have one giant array of bytes and methods to handle getting and setting specific entries in the matrix. One day, Eyal sat down to do a remote pair-programming session with a co-worker. It started out alright, but the hours ticked by, the problem they were dealing with kept showing thornier and thornier edge cases

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Simple Class

Sometimes, you just know one of your coworkers isnt pulling his or her weight on the team. Sometimes its the slacker co-worker, the one you always see browsing Facebook or getting coffee and never on pull requests or in architecture meetings. Sometimes its the absent one, the one always seeming to be on sick leave or working from home. And sometimes its the guy who you wish would slack off just so you could stop reviewing his inane, poorly-exec

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CodeSOD: GUID Enough, I Guess

Philemon Eichin has a depressing problem: his codebase is full of WTFs and git blame always returns his name. Its not his fault! Before he joined the team, source control was a zip file named Project.Final.Real.Finished.CurrentRelease.zip. Periodically, hell trawl through the codebase, tracking down ugly, bad code and fixing it, as a way to cut down on how many WTFs are attached to his name. For some reason, and Philemon isnt sure, he didnt fix t

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CodeSOD: Accidental Toast of the Town

Dont you just love it when some part of your app just suddenly and magically STOPS working all of a sudden? Our submitter David sure does (not). While working on his Android app, much to his surprise, he noticed that after one build, it wasnt displaying pop-up toast style notifications. He was positively stymied. Its not like this functionality is weird and custom with black magic UI coding behind it. No, this is something basic and ancient that

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