Comment On The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

When the big merger was announced, the IT staff of both corporations was a little bit nervous, and with good reason: The day after the announcement, many redundant positions were eliminated. Miraculously, the IT staff on both sides was left almost untouched. With the integration of two disparate code bases, there was a lot of work ahead. The Odd Couple [expand full text]
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Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:47 • by dutchieman (unregistered)
1 = 1
10 = 8 + 2
100 = 64 + 32 + 4

... were they just lucky? or is that stuff in fact binary, and not decimal?

CAPTCHA:vulputate, i.e. what you do after smelling this code

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:48 • by Weaselator (unregistered)
Yeah, "3 bits" is suspicious. as dutchieman demonstrated, it would actually to at last 5 bits!

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:49 • by Tasty (unregistered)

If iChkBx And 100 Then chkUS.Value = 1
Else chkUS.Value = 0
If iChkBx And 10 Then chkCanada.Value = 1
Else chkCanada.Value = 0
If iChkBx And 1 Then chkOther.Value = 1
Else chkOther.Value = 0


Am I supposed to read the iChkBx And 100 etc. as bit-wise AND? Who reads 100 and doesn't think in decimal?

It looks like they packed a 3 element boolean array into a single byte on modern hardware. Somebody started out as an assembly programmer. WTF?!?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:53 • by Geoff (unregistered)
"iChkBx And 100"

Is this code real. I have not done bitwise operation in VB in well probably a decade but if iChkBx is dimensioned as BIT(3) how is And'ing it with 100 supposed to work?

If you wanted to see if high bit was set you'd need to iChkBx with 4. Unless VB somehow understands 100 to be a string of bits because iChkBx is bit but I don't remember it doing that. Hex had to get prefixed &h

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:54 • by Tasty (unregistered)
382712 in reply to 382710
Yes, it's true. VB overloads AND to support bit-wise numbers:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/sdbcfyzh%28v=vs.80%29.aspx


If iChkBx And 100 Then chkUS.Value = 1
Else chkUS.Value = 0
If iChkBx And 10 Then chkCanada.Value = 1
Else chkCanada.Value = 0
If iChkBx And 1 Then chkOther.Value = 1
Else chkOther.Value = 0


Am I supposed to read the iChkBx And 100 etc. as bit-wise AND? Who reads 100 and doesn't think in decimal?

It looks like they packed a 3 element boolean array into a single byte on modern hardware. Somebody started out as an assembly programmer. WTF?!?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 11:54 • by SilentRunner (unregistered)
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:03 • by Black Bart (unregistered)
Yeah, like it would have made sense to properly configure the data store by moving the registry data into a full SQL Server 2012 database 2 weeks before the update shipped.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:06 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382715 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.


it ain't using java, its wrong.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:08 • by C-Octothorpe
382716 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?
You're the reason the bottom-feeding trolls get up in the morning...

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:08 • by shuffled, not stirred (unregistered)
382717 in reply to 382713
Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft?

No.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:10 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382718 in reply to 382717
shuffled, not stirred:
Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft?

No.

I lern that all scarecrow ain't be tired of massaging Microsoft excelant reputation of software development.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:13 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382719 in reply to 382716
C-Octothorpe:
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?
You're the reason the bottom-feeding trolls get up in the morning...

troll? in home bagneshdebad troll take money when cross bridge

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:13 • by neminem (unregistered)
Hey, Microsoft has made some fine stuff. C# is actually one of the prettiest languages I've worked in. VB, especially old VB... not so much with that. (And while Windows itself has been getting remarkably robust, the UI just keeps getting worse. Good thing people keep writing user-space applications to fix most of the issues by throwing out the native UI entirely. Though I still haven't found a perfect explorer replacement for Win7 (I wish I could just run XP's explorer). Explorer++ is close, but there are a couple major annoying bugs, and while it's technically open source, its maintainer and sole -actual- developer hasn't touched it in months.)

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:29 • by Remy Porter (unregistered)
Hey everyone, I just received bad news. Fake Nagesh is dead, he got run over by a dog sled team. Hopefully The Daily WTF will survive this tragedy ...

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:52 • by PiisAWheeL
382727 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?
You act like Microsoft fucked up 1 time like 10 years ago and we wont let it go.

Since Microsoft CONTINUES to release new and sometimes interesting wtfery, We CONTINUES to jab on it. Its not that nothing good comes out of there, but the bad is just so much more fun to make fun of.

Also a lot of people who "know better" (people with experience and understanding of how computers operate) like to make fun of microsoft because their target market tends to be people who struggle with checking their email. While microsofts software makes it easier for them, the rest of us just get annoyed at a lot of those "features" and do our damndest to avoid, turn off, or ignore them.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:53 • by PiisAWheeL
382728 in reply to 382722
Remy Porter:
Hey everyone, I just received bad news. Fake Nagesh is dead, he got run over by a dog sled team. Hopefully The Daily WTF will survive this tragedy ...
This is "Bad News". Looks like he had an "unfortunate accident".

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:58 • by Jay (unregistered)
382729 in reply to 382708
dutchieman:
1 = 1
10 = 8 + 2
100 = 64 + 32 + 4

... were they just lucky? or is that stuff in fact binary, and not decimal?


Yeah, I wondered about that too. So if they add 1000=Mexico, 1000 = 8+32+64+128+256+512, which has bits in common with both 10 and 100. So:

country=Canada
if county and Mexico ... will be true

And they'll probably sit there scratching their heads over this weird bug. Why does it work for 3 "bits" but not for 4? This is when they start writing letters to Microsoft informing them of the bug in the VB6 compiler.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:58 • by myName (unregistered)
Visual Studio 6.0 for editing VB6?

And why buy it if they were joining the other company, didn't they already have the tools?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:59 • by myName (unregistered)
Visual Studio 6.0 for editing VB6?

And why buy it if they were joining the other company, didn't they already have the tools?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 12:59 • by Jazz (unregistered)
382732 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:

Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft?


Doesn't Microsoft ever tire of shipping crap that's only worth taking a dig at?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 13:10 • by PiisAWheeL
382734 in reply to 382729
Jay:
dutchieman:
1 = 1
10 = 8 + 2
100 = 64 + 32 + 4

... were they just lucky? or is that stuff in fact binary, and not decimal?


Yeah, I wondered about that too. So if they add 1000=Mexico, 1000 = 8+32+64+128+256+512, which has bits in common with both 10 and 100. So:

country=Canada
if county and Mexico ... will be true

And they'll probably sit there scratching their heads over this weird bug. Why does it work for 3 "bits" but not for 4? This is when they start writing letters to Microsoft informing them of the bug in the VB6 compiler.
I can think of 2 possibilities (non exhaustive list):
1: It really is true binary. That makes a wtf out of not getting your full potential out of it (since you can count to 7 with 3 bits)
2: They have a very similar storage method and is in fact storing it in the registry as decimal without realizing it, so anding a decimal 100 with a decimal 100 (im assuming the conversation is that it looks like decimal in the code and not binay) should = out right?

The second one is my working theory.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 13:20 • by RandomGuy (unregistered)
TRWTF is buying VS6 at online auctions instead of pirating it ;)

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 13:40 • by Nick V. (unregistered)
So all they needed was to switch to a 4-bit register.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 13:44 • by Black Bart (unregistered)
382739 in reply to 382737
Nick V.:
So all they needed was to switch to a 4-bit register.



It's a lucky thing we have 64-bit Windows now; they could expand to serve up to 64 countries before needing to redesign things.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 14:22 • by ObiWayneKenobi
No, you only see this kind of half-assed stupidity in Microsoft developers (and sometimes PHP). You rarely find this kind of nonsense in Java-land, although there's a different beast there (namely tons of XML). I'd rather deal with tons of XML than some harebrained idea like USING THE FUCKING REGISTRY. At least XML was meant to be a tool, but using the Registry just screams "I have zero idea what the hell I'm doing, but who cares?"

Seriously, the problem with Microsoft is that they are always late to the party. It took them how fucking long to roll out an MVC framework despite that pattern being around since 19-FUCKING-70 and every other platform having some kind of MVC framework for it. No, instead Microsoft pushes this bullshit WebForms to mimic the style of VB6 apps, and continues to prove total ignorance by pushing the ability to do "RAD" and shlock code out using drag-and-drop or wizard driven nonsense.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 14:27 • by Rootbeer
There's nothing wrong with this code, assuming that one of the requirements for the app is that it has to run in environments with so little storage that it would be wasteful to dedicate an entire integer for each boolean flag. For example, an IBM PC 5150 with dual 360K floppies but no hard disk or cassette drive.

Preposterous, you say? Any more preposterous than maintaining code written in a 13-year-old version of Visual Basic?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 14:42 • by Jockamo (unregistered)
382742 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?


wow, Steve Ballmer is an angry man.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 14:49 • by Guvante (unregistered)
382743 in reply to 382740
ObiWayneKenobi:
USING THE FUCKING REGISTRY.


The registry isn't useless, just over-used. The idea of a central place for configuration settings per machine is a decent one. And in fact it does quite well when used correctly.

ObiWayneKenobi:
It took them how fucking long to roll out an MVC framework despite that pattern being around since 19-FUCKING-70


Quoting when pattern's existed is pointless. How long had the idea for inheritance existed before it was implemented?

ObiWayneKenobi:
No, instead Microsoft pushes this bullshit WebForms to mimic the style of VB6 apps, and continues to prove total ignorance by pushing the ability to do "RAD" and shlock code out using drag-and-drop or wizard driven nonsense.


There are benefits to web forms. Look at mobile phones right now, everyone is doing native apps due to the limitations on web sites. The restrictions on web sites for computers are fewer, but they still exist.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:02 • by Ralph (unregistered)
382745 in reply to 382720
neminem:
Hey, Microsoft has made some fine stuff.
They have? Hard to believe....

Oh, I get it! It wasn't software. Right?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:13 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382746 in reply to 382722
Remy Porter:
Hey everyone, I just received bad news. Fake Nagesh is dead, he got run over by a dog sled team. Hopefully The Daily WTF will survive this tragedy ...

I ain't being sorry fake Nagesh is being re-incarnation as cockroach. He has been massaging my good name for some time now.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:15 • by wonk (unregistered)
382747 in reply to 382745
Ralph:
neminem:
Hey, Microsoft has made some fine stuff.
They have? Hard to believe....

Oh, I get it! It wasn't software. Right?


you better believe it. That 128-bit Zune is going to rock the world ;-).

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:17 • by PiisAWheeL
382748 in reply to 382746
Nagesh:
Remy Porter:
Hey everyone, I just received bad news. Fake Nagesh is dead, he got run over by a dog sled team. Hopefully The Daily WTF will survive this tragedy ...

I ain't being sorry fake Nagesh is being re-incarnation as cockroach. He has been massaging my good name for some time now.
YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!!! STAY DEAD!!!

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:19 • by Scrummy (unregistered)
At the risk of sounding redundant, an Agile team would not have had this problem. Regular product review and retrospective would have unearthed that settings driven by bits stored in the registry is wildly untenable. And an Agile team's code would have been so thoroughly tested that post-merger integration would be a snap.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:25 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382750 in reply to 382748
Fake Nagesh ain't me. It is that other scarecrow who always be massaging stupid coments.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:26 • by ObiWayneKenobi
382751 in reply to 382749
Scrummy:
At the risk of sounding redundant, an Agile team would not have had this problem. Regular product review and retrospective would have unearthed that settings driven by bits stored in the registry is wildly untenable. And an Agile team's code would have been so thoroughly tested that post-merger integration would be a snap.


But again, a "team" of "developers" like that wouldn't know anything about Agile, wouldn't have been using Agile, and would have probably thrown a fit if they had been asked about their thoughts on Agile. The fact it was a VB6 application, a platform that has been obsolete for nearly a decade and a half, is a good indicator of that team's quality and skill level.

People like that don't use Agile, and it's doubtful they've ever heard of it,

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:41 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
Me thinking there maybe two fake Nageshes.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:42 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382753 in reply to 382752
Nagesh:
Me thinking there maybe two fake Nageshes.
Me too.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 15:56 • by English Man
But changing existing base logic -- no matter how flawed -- added risk to a process
This isn't a WTF. If the existing software is doing the job you DO NOT jump in all gung-ho to <i>improve</i> it. How many WTF stories start exactly that way?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:26 • by aptent (unregistered)
382755 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?


"Frist" is a shorthand for "I'm a dumbass because that's pretty much the only constructive comment that I can provide related to this article".

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:28 • by aptent (unregistered)
382756 in reply to 382716
C-Octothorpe:
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?
You're the reason the bottom-feeding trolls get up in the morning...


Screw you, octopus

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:32 • by aptent (unregistered)
382757 in reply to 382727
PiisAWheeL:
SilentRunner:
Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?
You act like Microsoft fucked up 1 time like 10 years ago and we wont let it go.

Since Microsoft CONTINUES to release new and sometimes interesting wtfery, We CONTINUES to jab on it. Its not that nothing good comes out of there, but the bad is just so much more fun to make fun of.

Also a lot of people who "know better" (people with experience and understanding of how computers operate) like to make fun of microsoft because their target market tends to be people who struggle with checking their email. While microsofts software makes it easier for them, the rest of us just get annoyed at a lot of those "features" and do our damndest to avoid, turn off, or ignore them.


Then go ahead and use linux with the fastest GUI responsiveness or an equally buggy Mac. Windows is the best desktop (and server) operating systems availalbe nowadays (I'm not digging into the past, though).

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:34 • by aptent (unregistered)
382758 in reply to 382740
ObiWayneKenobi:
No, you only see this kind of half-assed stupidity in Microsoft developers (and sometimes PHP). You rarely find this kind of nonsense in Java-land, although there's a different beast there (namely tons of XML). I'd rather deal with tons of XML than some harebrained idea like USING THE FUCKING REGISTRY. At least XML was meant to be a tool, but using the Registry just screams "I have zero idea what the hell I'm doing, but who cares?"

Seriously, the problem with Microsoft is that they are always late to the party. It took them how fucking long to roll out an MVC framework despite that pattern being around since 19-FUCKING-70 and every other platform having some kind of MVC framework for it. No, instead Microsoft pushes this bullshit WebForms to mimic the style of VB6 apps, and continues to prove total ignorance by pushing the ability to do "RAD" and shlock code out using drag-and-drop or wizard driven nonsense.


You have no fucking clue what you're talking about. Go flip burgers.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:36 • by aptent (unregistered)
382759 in reply to 382745
Ralph:
neminem:
Hey, Microsoft has made some fine stuff.
They have? Hard to believe....

Oh, I get it! It wasn't software. Right?


Ralph, I fucking KNOW that you can't even turn on a non-windows machine, so shut the fuck up - dick!

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:40 • by AGray (unregistered)
382760 in reply to 382713
No, we never tire of taking digs at Microsoft. And we wouldn't necessarily be frying eggs; we might even be working for Apple!

'frist' is probably a captcha that turned into a "first post" thingamabobster.

CAPTCHA: Tego - if we were frying eggs, you would need to leggo this!

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:44 • by Matt Westwood
382761 in reply to 382713
SilentRunner:
J-Po:
Frist?

Real WTF is Visual Basic


Don't you people ever tire of taking digs at Microsoft? You SOBs would be frying eggs at the local diner if it weren't for Microsoft.

And WTF is "frist"? Is that a medal you pin on your ass, J-Po?

You fucking would because you're a fucking prick.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 16:46 • by Matt Westwood
382762 in reply to 382720
neminem:
Hey, Microsoft has made some fine stuff. C# is actually one of the prettiest languages I've worked in. VB, especially old VB... not so much with that. (And while Windows itself has been getting remarkably robust, the UI just keeps getting worse. Good thing people keep writing user-space applications to fix most of the issues by throwing out the native UI entirely. Though I still haven't found a perfect explorer replacement for Win7 (I wish I could just run XP's explorer). Explorer++ is close, but there are a couple major annoying bugs, and while it's technically open source, its maintainer and sole -actual- developer hasn't touched it in months.)


May you choke on vomit. I don't care whose.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 17:24 • by Trans Verbero (unregistered)
382763 in reply to 382754
English Man:
But changing existing base logic -- no matter how flawed -- added risk to a process
This isn't a WTF. If the existing software is doing the job you DO NOT jump in all gung-ho to <i>improve</i> it. How many WTF stories start exactly that way?

Hmmm come to think of it.... they just had one like that YESTERDAY!!! ;-)

As much as I hate working in VB6, you're absolutely right.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 17:29 • by Sir Twist
382764 in reply to 382731
myName:
And why buy it if they were joining the other company, didn't they already have the tools?
No, the other company had VB 6 or VS 6. Doyle's company didn't. The earliest version of VS included in your MSDN subscription has been VS.NET for at least the last 5 years.

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 17:35 • by dkf
382765 in reply to 382757
aptent:
Windows is the best desktop (and server) operating systems availalbe nowadays (I'm not digging into the past, though).
Is this the same Windows which mixes an utterly unpredictable mechanism for quoting arguments to subprocesses and a strong inclination to spaces in filenames?

Re: The Logic Behind Modern Maintenance

2012-06-07 17:46 • by Ralph (unregistered)
382766 in reply to 382765
dkf:
aptent:
Windows is the best desktop (and server) operating systems availalbe nowadays (I'm not digging into the past, though).
Is this the same Windows which mixes an utterly unpredictable mechanism for quoting arguments to subprocesses and a strong inclination to spaces in filenames?
Yes, but Mac and now Linux encourage spaces in filenames too so they're just as crappy.

Hint: It is supposed to be a file name not a fucking sentence!
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