Classic WTF: We Use BobX

  • Shipshape 2012-12-27 08:03
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.
  • Karl 2012-12-27 08:12
    This just demonstrates once again, if you have a strength, hide it! No one wants to be shown a fool, so everyone will hate you. Keep your skills to yourself and stay in step with the herd.

    I guess that was yesterday's WTF too.

    And the one before.
  • Jack 2012-12-27 08:17
    I wonder what this would have done:

    <xbobif condition="amount <= eval(system('reboot'))" >

    Assuming that works, methinks the best approach would be to write something that "accidentally" destroys 95% of BobX while erasing its own tracks. Arrange to be nowhere in the vicinity when it goes off, then do your best to help get BobX working again... though, really, what could anyone but Bob be expected to do?

    It may be painful at first, but in the long run, it's For Your Own Good.
  • hymie 2012-12-27 08:18
    Karl:
    I guess that was yesterday's WTF too.


    while (1)
    {
    And the one before.
    }


    FTFY
  • alvatrus 2012-12-27 08:27
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.

    Because they knew that, in the end, the new guy was going to jump ship.
  • Karl 2012-12-27 08:31
    hymie:
    Karl:
    I guess that was yesterday's WTF too.


    while (1)
    {
    And the one before.
    }


    FTFY
    Quite correct, good Sir, I do believe you've identified a valid optimization.

    And as the Great Teacher showed us recently, if you're doing the same thing over and over, get a computer to repeat it for you.
  • foo 2012-12-27 08:39
    The guy built a bastard child of ASP and ColdFusion on top of PHP? I'm surprised the whole thing didn't just implode during the first page hit!
  • Justin 2012-12-27 08:55
    TRWTF = "Christian"
  • Blakeyrat 2012-12-27 09:08
    Oh WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW trwtf is not using good articles and instead using old crap we've already seen imean cumon srsly wtf man
  • ¯\(°_o)/¯ I DUNNO LOL 2012-12-27 09:17
    BobX: for when PHP isn't enough of a WTF.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-27 09:21
    I don't get why anyone sane would work for a place using a proprietary language that only that company uses. As a developer, if you waste 4+ years working with "BobX" and not PHP, how are you ever going to get a PHP job? You'd be laughed out of any interview or dismissed as not having any relevant experience.

    Might as well just work for that company the rest of your life, since if you ever left you'd have to start over from scratch since your career would be tainted by years with some proprietary language nobody else uses.

    Staying in a position like this isn't just a career limited move, it's a career ending move.
  • Anonymous Coward 2012-12-27 09:24
    Unless somebody snuck in and changed it in the 10 minutes between when you posted and when I started reading, the article was clearly labeled "Classic WTF," dude.

    CAPTCHA: aptent

    Please be more aptentive in the future. Thanks!
  • the beholder 2012-12-27 09:37
    Blakeyrat:
    Oh WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW trwtf is not using good articles and instead using old crap we've already seen imean cumon srsly wtf man
    Hmmm I wonder what Blakeyrat did to grant himself a Personal Dedicated Troll Impersonator™?
  • operagost 2012-12-27 09:54
    Please don't Google "BobX".
  • Blakeyrat 2012-12-27 11:01
    Pdti's aren't cheap, you know?
  • tharpa 2012-12-27 11:12
    operagost:
    Please don't Google "BobX".


    Please don't push the big red button!
  • harperska 2012-12-27 11:14
    This sounds creepily like a company I used to work for, so much that I almost think it is talking about the company I used to work for. It is uncannily accurate, including the half-height cube walls and homegrown ERP system. Our 'Bob' was an offsite contractor that nobody had ever met, who possibly lived in a different country. We didn't really know.

    I was planning on only being there a year or so to gain a little experience after college, but then the economy tanked and I was stuck there for 4 years just lucky that they didn't lay anyone off.

    There was one project in the company that had to be developed in Java rather than "BobX", as it had to interface with an external 3rd party application using RMI. I quickly got myself assigned to, and then put in charge of that project just so I could put Java on my resume instead of "BobX". Worked like a charm, and once the economy recovered and companies started hiring again, I was able to get myself a much better job at a Java shop.
  • AC 2012-12-27 11:20
    This is clearly utter bull and never happened.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-27 11:27
    AC:
    This is clearly utter bull and never happened.


    Totally disagree; there are lots of companies that, for whatever reason, whip up some weird, half-assed homebrew language instead of using existing solutions, and once you end up in a place like that you're pretty much screwed career-wise. Sometimes you get a place like Fog Creek that uses an in-house language for a semi-decent reason (in their case, they sell it to people to install and support Windows via ASP and Linux via PHP, so their in-house language Wasabi is like OOP VBScript that can compile to either) but a place like that also pushes and encourages developers to stay current if they leave.

    On the flipside a place like this slowly kills developers by making them unemployable.
  • Meta-commentator 2012-12-27 11:40
    Where's my peanut gallery snide comments? Only one in the article. For Shame.
  • John 2012-12-27 11:44
    Once again the anonymization makes this unbelievable in the real world. Here's what would actually happen:

    Bob's system wouldn't really be named "X", it would be something like "Enterprise Web Deployment Platform", and Bob, being an "offshore resource", would actually be named Rikitikitombohor-h-amirovisanto. Accordingly, the code illustrated as

    <xbobendloop>

    would be written as

    <EWDPRikitikitombohor-h-amirovisantoendloop>

    For extra points, the parser would simply ignore misspellings such as

    <EWDPRikitikitombohor-h-amiravisantoendloop>

    making for some "interesting" debugging opportunities.
  • BAF 2012-12-27 11:49
    Eh, it's still Java. I anything is better than BobX, though.
  • marc 2012-12-27 12:11
    I guess Bob was the smart one here.
    BobX granted him longlife rent from this company.
  • AnonymouseUser 2012-12-27 12:22
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I don't get why anyone sane would work for a place using a proprietary language that only that company uses.


    Depends on the year, though PHP makes it recent-ish. If it was the 70's or even 80's there were plenty of in-house languages or versions of languages, usually optimised for the hardware the company also sold.
  • d 2012-12-27 12:41
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.
    Because it is preferable to "Abandon hope all ye who enter here".
  • OldCoder 2012-12-27 12:41
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    AC:
    This is clearly utter bull and never happened.


    Totally disagree; there are lots of companies that, for whatever reason, whip up some weird, half-assed homebrew language instead of using existing solutions, and once you end up in a place like that you're pretty much screwed career-wise. Sometimes you get a place like Fog Creek that uses an in-house language for a semi-decent reason (in their case, they sell it to people to install and support Windows via ASP and Linux via PHP, so their in-house language Wasabi is like OOP VBScript that can compile to either) but a place like that also pushes and encourages developers to stay current if they leave.

    On the flipside a place like this slowly kills developers by making them unemployable.

    Yup. I contracted at one place for a year that used their own in-house dialect of Basic to access a database using their own in-house API.

    Fortunately, behind the scenes the code was C/C++ which meant that my time there wasn't completely wasted, but all that weirdo other stuff took some time to get used to and was never going to be of help to me anywhere else.

    Captcha: eros. You have to be kidding!
  • Wyrm 2012-12-27 13:20
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.

    More like... why would you say "welcome aboard" when you're boarding a sinking ship?
  • PiisAWheeL 2012-12-27 13:41
    Jack:
    I wonder what this would have done:

    <xbobif condition="amount <= eval(system('reboot'))" >

    Assuming that works, methinks the best approach would be to write something that "accidentally" destroys 95% of BobX while erasing its own tracks. Arrange to be nowhere in the vicinity when it goes off, then do your best to help get BobX working again... though, really, what could anyone but Bob be expected to do?

    It may be painful at first, but in the long run, it's For Your Own Good.
    That works fine until bob dumps a backup of bobx back on his servers. All you have done is cost the company 24 hours at best. At least thats the way it would be if bob is as paranoid as i am. I do believe he is.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-27 13:51
    AnonymouseUser:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I don't get why anyone sane would work for a place using a proprietary language that only that company uses.


    Depends on the year, though PHP makes it recent-ish. If it was the 70's or even 80's there were plenty of in-house languages or versions of languages, usually optimised for the hardware the company also sold.


    Maybe back then but in the modern age I can't think of any reason why anyone who didn't plan to retire at that company would accept a job where you aren't learning transferrable skills. Maybe if you learn a unique domain and can transfer careers to that, but if you plan to stay a developer you're essentially terminating your career by working in a place like that. Maybe if you're desperate or need a job for income, but leave ASAP once you find out the WTF.
  • Unysis BOMBER 2012-12-27 15:20
    VERY TRUE!! I bet ya Bob-O had more than just one company on the bluff and was not in some cave or abandon nuke site; kickin' it on the cool waves of some sandy beach somewhere gigglin' his ass off.
  • Barf 4Eva 2012-12-27 15:24
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.


    Or at least "Welcome To Hell".

    Should be accurate, especially for bobx.
  • Mike 2012-12-27 15:42
    Couldn't agree more. I love it when there is no plan for orientation they just kind of point you at a cubicle and go away. A few hours later your boss comes around and asks "How do you like it so far?" "Umm, if I had a login and some sort of idea what I was supposed to be doing fine I guess" :)
  • Mike 2012-12-27 15:48
    I'm guilty of this. Back in the day I started with a non-C like language. So one of my first projects (more of a learning exercise but still) was making a parser for G++. G++ was just like C++ except you didn't need to end statments with a semi-colon and if I recall correctly you ended an if/for etc with an "end" statement.

    if(this == that)
    printf("Moo Ha ha")
    end

    would be converted into C++ and then compiled with VC++ 6.0 I believe it was at the time. Now I'm so used to the semi-colon that I find myself using it when I'm doing vb coding every once and a while.
  • Eion 2012-12-27 15:49
    BobX looks almost identical to phpbb.

    I had a job maintaining a phpbb forum and adding new features and layout. In the end these template languages and frameworks just get in the way and slow you down.
  • Kivi 2012-12-27 15:57
    I think in the phrase "evil, twisted, or evil and twisted", the AND should be in all caps for emphasis. Or maybe emphasized in some other way, though I'm not sure how you'd do that in HTML.

    Also, Oxford comma for the win!
  • trh5y4y54 2012-12-27 16:10
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    As a developer, if you waste 4+ years working with "BobX" and not PHP, how are you ever going to get a PHP job?

    So in your world you can only ever get a job doing exactly the same thing as whatever job you had before? Better make sure you don't start off as a paperboy or something....
  • Chelloveck 2012-12-27 16:15
    AnonymouseUser:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I don't get why anyone sane would work for a place using a proprietary language that only that company uses.


    Depends on the year, though PHP makes it recent-ish. If it was the 70's or even 80's there were plenty of in-house languages or versions of languages, usually optimised for the hardware the company also sold.


    Aye. I started at Motorola's cellular group in the late 80s where we had something called "MPL" -- "Motorola Programming Language". This was a pessimizing compiler; it would always generate the worst possible assembly. Supposedly there was a new version of MPL languishing on a tape somewhere that produced much better code. But, it didn't reproduce the bugs of the original version, so we were never able to upgrade to it.

    Ah, those were the days...
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-27 16:17
    trh5y4y54:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    As a developer, if you waste 4+ years working with "BobX" and not PHP, how are you ever going to get a PHP job?

    So in your world you can only ever get a job doing exactly the same thing as whatever job you had before? Better make sure you don't start off as a paperboy or something....


    Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords. That means if you're a Java dev its VERY hard to get a job in a C# shop unless you've also worked as a C# dev, and vice versa.

    To spend years on a proprietary language no one but some random nobody company uses is a death sentence; even if you are an accomplished programmer in other languages, you'll be filtered out by HR drones and recruiters (rightly or wrongly) because your recent work experience isn't relevant. Unless you learn some specific domain knowledge you can leverage, you're screwed.

    That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-27 16:23
    the beholder:
    Hmmm I wonder what Blakeyrat did to grant himself a Personal Dedicated Troll Impersonator™?
    I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. I'm also surprised that the impersonator isn't very good at it.
  • CodeBeater 2012-12-27 16:25
    C'mon Mike, already getting lazy of making the classic headers? (or maybe you just run out of excuses)



    Captcha: eros <=== Captcha recycling?
  • Tom 2012-12-27 16:35
    Mike:
    Couldn't agree more. I love it when there is no plan for orientation they just kind of point you at a cubicle and go away. A few hours later your boss comes around and asks "How do you like it so far?" "Umm, if I had a login and some sort of idea what I was supposed to be doing fine I guess" :)
    A few hours???!! I worked at a place where it was routine to wait two weeks for a new login account to be created. No one seemed to think that was odd. Yet, they kept hiring contractors like their money had an expiration date and they better spend it now. Yes, contractors who would get a dollar a minute to sit there doing nothing until their accounts were ready. "Here, read some manuals or something..."
  • Blakeyrat 2012-12-27 16:55
    PedanticCurmudgeon:
    the beholder:
    Hmmm I wonder what Blakeyrat did to grant himself a Personal Dedicated Troll Impersonator™?
    I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. I'm also surprised that the impersonator isn't very good at it.


    And I suppose you could do it fucking better? Its not fucking hard to fucking pepper your posts with the word fuck you idiot. If you have a problem just fucking be an internet tough guy you fucking wank. Don't forget to include: windows sucks Linux sucks Mac sucks fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck oracle sucks.
  • Jazz 2012-12-27 17:01
    operagost:
    Please don't Google "BobX".


    I love that the page title at bobx.com is "You are now in the DARK" -- just like the protagonist in this story, I guess.
  • Jazz 2012-12-27 17:04
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords.


    Don't forget how all of the positions are for "entry-level programmers" with a minimum of "five years of experience."

    It takes a special kind of stupid to write those kinds of requirements. Has any HR worker ever spent the twelve calories and six brain cells that it would take to realize that, if it requires five years of experience, it's not an entry-level job?
  • PedanticCurmudgeon 2012-12-27 17:08
    Blakeyrat:
    And I suppose you could do it fucking better? Its not fucking hard to fucking pepper your posts with the word fuck you idiot. If you have a problem just fucking be an internet tough guy you fucking wank. Don't forget to include: windows sucks Linux sucks Mac sucks fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck oracle sucks.
    You can't see the forest for the trees. To be a good Blakeyrat impersonator, it's not enough to say "fuck" every other word and to say that Linux sucks. You have to understand why he does that and why he thinks Linux (but really everything command-line) sucks. Go back to the sidebar and read his posts until you do.
  • Nagesh 2012-12-27 18:03
    operagost:
    Please don't Google "BobX".

    Hmm, I dunno. Is a tidy little miracle of lucidity compared to Time Cube.

    (Because that's the only nice thing I can think of to say about it. Keeping up the Christmas spirit, folks!)
  • Uncle Al 2012-12-27 18:04
    Tom:
    Yet, they kept hiring contractors like their money had an expiration date and they better spend it now.


    Sadly, in many corporations, it would be because the department's money had an end-of-fiscal-year expiration date and, if it wasn't all spent, the following year's budget would be cut to what the department "actually" needed. "Brewster's Millions" is scarily close to reality in some ways. :-)
  • iWantToKeepAnon 2012-12-27 18:07
    Obviously a brilliant man ahead of his time. I think Bob invented the DSL and the company *must* be better off for it. :-|


    CAPTCHA: pecus - not _even_ going to look that one up.
  • Matt Westwood 2012-12-27 18:16
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I don't get why anyone sane would work for a place using a proprietary language that only that company uses. As a developer, if you waste 4+ years working with "BobX" and not PHP, how are you ever going to get a PHP job? You'd be laughed out of any interview or dismissed as not having any relevant experience.

    Might as well just work for that company the rest of your life, since if you ever left you'd have to start over from scratch since your career would be tainted by years with some proprietary language nobody else uses.

    Staying in a position like this isn't just a career limited move, it's a career ending move.

    Don't be silly, you just say you have e.g. "n years working on PHP applications".
  • Matt Westwood 2012-12-27 18:20
    Wyrm:
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.

    More like... why would you say "welcome aboard" when you're boarding a sinking ship?

    "I'm glad you arrived, your arse is just the right shape to plug this hole we've got in the hull. Sit right there ..."
  • Callin 2012-12-27 20:45
    One does not simply stop using BobX
  • El Oscuro 2012-12-27 21:50
    Mike:
    I'm guilty of this. Back in the day I started with a non-C like language. So one of my first projects (more of a learning exercise but still) was making a parser for G++. G++ was just like C++ except you didn't need to end statments with a semi-colon and if I recall correctly you ended an if/for etc with an "end" statement.

    if(this == that)
    printf("Moo Ha ha")
    end

    would be converted into C++ and then compiled with VC++ 6.0 I believe it was at the time. Now I'm so used to the semi-colon that I find myself using it when I'm doing vb coding every once and a while.


    20 years ago, we got the latest fashionable "next generation" language, FOCUS. It was touted as being "more powerful than C++" even though it was written in C++. It as also a buggy POS before such things became fashionable. One of things I was having an issue with was interfacing with an SQL RDBMS. I had a carefully tuned query which was performing poorly. So when I traced it, I discovered that, instead of sending my query to the RDBMS, it was converting it to its own language and then generating crappy SQL from it.
  • Darth Paul 2012-12-28 05:28
    I recall a programmer who wrote his own "operating system" for a power company and rigged it so it wouldn't continue to work without undocumented interactions from himself every few days. This story is probably more common than we fear.
  • Not blakeyrat 2012-12-28 07:16
    Blakeyrat:
    PedanticCurmudgeon:
    the beholder:
    Hmmm I wonder what Blakeyrat did to grant himself a Personal Dedicated Troll Impersonator™?
    I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. I'm also surprised that the impersonator isn't very good at it.


    And I suppose you could do it fucking better? Its not fucking hard to fucking pepper your posts with the word fuck you idiot. If you have a problem just fucking be an internet tough guy you fucking wank. Don't forget to include: windows sucks Linux sucks Mac sucks fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck oracle sucks.

    So you were actually trying to write like blakeyrat? That's even sadder.
  • VeeTwo 2012-12-28 09:08
    Jazz:
    Don't forget how all of the positions are for "entry-level programmers" with a minimum of "five years of experience."

    Translating from HR-eze to English, I take that to mean: "We want experts who are willing to work for nothing."
  • History Teacher 2012-12-28 12:40
    Shipshape:
    Why do they always say "Welcome aboard"? It isn't a ship and you aren't the captain. How about "One to beam up"? That wouldn't be any more corny.


    "Beaming up" is often used as an euphemism of death in some geeky circles, so being welcomed to a company that way might be a bit creepy...

    For extra impact, remember to have a red shirt to give as a welcome gift!
  • foxyshadis 2012-12-28 13:18
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords. That means if you're a Java dev its VERY hard to get a job in a C# shop unless you've also worked as a C# dev, and vice versa.

    To spend years on a proprietary language no one but some random nobody company uses is a death sentence; even if you are an accomplished programmer in other languages, you'll be filtered out by HR drones and recruiters (rightly or wrongly) because your recent work experience isn't relevant. Unless you learn some specific domain knowledge you can leverage, you're screwed.

    That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.

    You don't have to be scrupulously honest in your interactions with companies you're interviewing for. If you think you have the skills to handle what they're hiring your for, even though you didn't use them in your previous job, bluff your way through it. If you actually got too comfortable and let your skills go to pot, well, that was your mistake.

    In fact, it's almost always better to not be honest at all with HR and recruiters, rather just keep throwing buzzwords closely related to their job ad around until you can speak to someone technically competent enough to determine what the actual job requirements even are.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-28 13:28
    foxyshadis:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Have you worked in development? That certainly seems to be how it works, because everyone wants professional experience with the tools they use and unless you are very lucky, you won't be called in for an interview if you don't have the right buzzwords. That means if you're a Java dev its VERY hard to get a job in a C# shop unless you've also worked as a C# dev, and vice versa.

    To spend years on a proprietary language no one but some random nobody company uses is a death sentence; even if you are an accomplished programmer in other languages, you'll be filtered out by HR drones and recruiters (rightly or wrongly) because your recent work experience isn't relevant. Unless you learn some specific domain knowledge you can leverage, you're screwed.

    That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.

    You don't have to be scrupulously honest in your interactions with companies you're interviewing for. If you think you have the skills to handle what they're hiring your for, even though you didn't use them in your previous job, bluff your way through it. If you actually got too comfortable and let your skills go to pot, well, that was your mistake.

    In fact, it's almost always better to not be honest at all with HR and recruiters, rather just keep throwing buzzwords closely related to their job ad around until you can speak to someone technically competent enough to determine what the actual job requirements even are.


    Yes but at the same time, you have to figure out how to "lie" and say that your job of "maintaining code written in proprietary language BobX" is really "design and develop PHP applications using the Symfony web framework" or whatever. It might be easier if you're actually still doing "PHP" work, like in the OP.

    But what if you're not doing any development of any kind? Let's say you were hired as a project coordinator (and that's your job title) but you are instead writing scripts in a proprietary company language, and that's 99% of your job? What then? Lie and claim that you're really coordinating projects, or what?
  • A developer 2012-12-28 13:32
    Maybe BobX wrote the code for the XBox
  • The Big Picture Thinker 2012-12-28 14:26
    I hoped there would be XML. I was not disappoint.
  • Bernhard 2012-12-29 06:12
    strangly enough: if you spin the story just a little bit, you may come to a point where you could realize that BobX is very similar to a modern cutting edge system like flow. even if it might be flawed by the fact that "Bob" is way to smart for his own good (e.g.: a team would have created a more fitting solution).
    just think about doctrine and how it has changed the way persistent storage is used...

    YES: plain php is faster. and if your grandmother would have used assembler it would feel more like "real programming".

    still, for enterprise level applications "BobX" may be the solution and the real WTF is that the story is about how to fuck up a system that is designed to NOT allow messy plain php.

    in my opinion, this was a security breach and this cowboy/hacker should have been fired on the spot.
  • gfsgs 2012-12-29 10:47
    <xbobif condition="amount <= 12" >

    it's not even valid XML
  • Jake Spurlock 2012-12-29 12:34
    Man, replace PHP with Perl, and that is the CS platform that I work on all day...
  • Anon 2012-12-29 17:17
    Goes to show (once again) that when working for a company, politics is more important than technical abilities and/or creativity. I've learned it the "hard way" (somewhat similar to the parent story).

    You're a mercenary, a "tool", if you will, and are expected to do *exactly* what you're told; predictability is desired, surprises are not.
    You could have vision, you could do things better, more efficient, easier for users, etc, etc, etc. Unless you've got decision power - none of those have any value.

    Basically one has two choices : 1) get the f*ck out of there; or 2) play dumb, get the paycheck, while planning for 1)
  • Hotline 2012-12-29 18:48
    The solution to this problem as well as so many others in IT is obvious. The correct solution is of course to murder "Bob" and assume his identity and then either cash in his checks or preferably to proceed to destroy his monstrous creation enough to force the company to switch back to some saner IT solutions with you, provided you are marginally competent, leading the way. Anyway, as long as "Bob" is brutally murdered and his corpse defiled according to local customs, justice has been served and the world is a slightly better "bob"-lesser place.

    No it really is ok, nobody likes him anyway.

    captcha - ingenium, yes common sense really is sometimes.
  • Cole (5urd) 2012-12-30 15:44
    Reminds me of M$ Bob: completely useless - and when you get around it (at your school), you get a pink slip.

    Litteraly, in 1st grade, I Ctrl-Alt-Del'd (I just made a word) out of M$ Bob and my teacher gave me a pink slip - a slip your parents sign that also leaves a mark on your citizenship.

    If you don't know what a pink slip is IRL at a IT job, you're not good enough.
  • pelrun 2012-12-30 21:33
    Which is precisely why nobody knows exactly where Bob is. He's either avoiding the hordes of angry programmers wanting his head, or he's *already* been replaced by one of them :)
  • SnarkyBoy 2012-12-31 07:04
    Substitute "proprietary ETL tool" for BobX, and "SQL" for PHP, and it sounds disturbingly familiar...
  • urza9814 2012-12-31 09:23
    Two WEEKS? Took around two MONTHS to get all my logins and software installed here....
  • Michael Clark 2012-12-31 10:52
    Assuming they could not just restore from backup, you would have crippled the company, lost them the faith and goodwill of their customers, and depending on cash reserves, might well destroy the company outright, putting hundreds out of work. Refactoring is "for your own good" - piecewise incremental changes away from a hated "solution", and painful enough. Your proposal is quite a bit more anti-social.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2012-12-31 13:23
    Refactoring is something that needs to be applied ruthlessly and frequently to code, else it rots and becomes infested.
  • wbrianwhite 2012-12-31 14:55
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    That's been my experience, anyways. Have 4 years of C# experience? Good luck applying for a PHP or Java or Ruby job, even if you know PHP/Java/Ruby from personal projects. Have 4 years in "BobX"? You aren't going to get past HR at all because it looks to them like you haven't been using C#/Java/PHP/Ruby/whatever in years.


    BobX wouldn't get you in the door for a C# job, no. But we're a BobXII shop, and we hire lots of BobX developers. BobXII is a lot like BobX, but instead of xbobif you do xiibobif.
  • wbrianwhite 2012-12-31 14:58
    gfsgs:
    <xbobif condition="amount <= 12" >

    it's not even valid XML


    Duh. It's XbobML of course. XbobML is a lot like XML, but quotes actually prevent literals from being interpreted. And it has the word bob in it.
  • George 2013-01-02 07:22
    El Oscuro:
    I had a carefully tuned query which was performing poorly. So when I traced it, I discovered that, instead of sending my query to the RDBMS, it was converting it to its own language and then generating crappy SQL from it.


    So it was LinqToSQL then?
  • Spewin Coffee 2013-01-02 15:36
    The style of BobX reminds me a LOT of a scripting language I wrote once upon a time, but I wrote it in C, not PHP.

    It also has a ColdFusion feel to the code. So Bob likes CF but implemented it in PHP.
  • bio_end_io_t 2013-01-03 09:11
    As if PHP wasn't bad enough to begin with, Bob decided to write an interpreter in it? Clearly Bob is both evil and twisted.
  • Benjamin Smith 2013-01-03 11:57
    Sadly, that would also be illegal in most countries.
  • Why? 2013-01-03 15:58
    This WTF was published back in Aug 2010. Why is this being repeated?
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2013-01-06 12:37
    Why?:
    This WTF was published back in Aug 2010. Why is this being repeated?


    You must be new here. It says "Classic WTF" which means it's an older WTF that's reposted for new people. The site does that during the holidays in lieu of a new article.
  • Corporate_Monkey 2013-01-07 04:10
    TRWTF is that he was able to publish code that violated company development guidelines without anybody else noticing.

    Also, WTF is he doing trying to do things differently than the company standards?

    And WhyTF didn't he quit earlier?
  • Salagir 2013-01-07 07:07
    "This was definitely not the reaction that Christian expected."

    You used another language that the one all the company use, and did that so by hacking current code?

    And you expect to be rewarded?
    Of course bobX sucks, but our hero there acted stupid.
  • Paul 2013-01-08 06:56
    Jazz:
    operagost:
    Please don't Google "BobX".


    I love that the page title at bobx.com is "You are now in the DARK" -- just like the protagonist in this story, I guess.


    I love the bit half way down that home page:

    "If you landed here looking for some stupid pseudocode programmed by a shameless retard, who called it "BobX",
    probably to freeload off my fame, you have come to the wrong place. <rant continues>"

  • Christian 2013-01-08 07:59
    It's always nice to see classic ones again. And this is me this happened to. I commented on it back when it was first posted, but funny enough new things came up this time.

    It was a trial, working there for 3 days to get the lay of the land. My old job sucked, big so I was just looking for a way out, and this seemed like a good one to go for. Until I met bobx. I had already thought of not making this a career 3 minutes into the code, but I decided to give it a good go, just for the heck of it. I love learning new things, though this was probably one of the most painful experiences I have ever had.

    After those days, I told them how it would be much nicer to actually use something more standard, suggesting a framework such as ZendFramework back then. They seemed open to it, but they needed to think it over. I said I would not work on bobx, but for anything else I would be open to bring them into the current year.

    This story happened (as always with Alex artistic license added) in Summer of 2010, then was posted in August 2010.

    I have never had the misfortune to have to deal with bobx ever again and today develop happily with the symfony2 framework.
  • Christian 2013-01-09 04:46
    As a couple other pointers:
    - The company was the boss and one programmer. I was to be the second. And of course there was Bob, somewhere. The boss knew nothing of programming as far as I could discern.
    - I did not finish the assignment using PHP. It was all done to their specs, but I did dig around, finding something along the lines of 500 custom declared functions and 4 classes (3 of which were from open source projects, abandoned in the PHP4 age). The digging was done using PHP, trying to get more info on how this monster worked to find out why something didn't.
    - Call it perverse curiosity why I even agreed to stay those 3 days for testing.
  • André 2013-01-16 11:41
    Bob's whereabouts.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/16/developer_oursources_job_china/