Today's submitter writes: I wonder how many developers out there have managed, intentionally or otherwise, to have a comment Easter egg go viral within a project.

It seems in the late '90's he was working on a project codenamed "Dolphin." This wasn't the GameCube; it was an ASP/VB6 N-Tier system, also known as "way less fun." One of the first phases of the project involved a few web-based forms. The architects provided them with some simple standard templates to use, such as the method header comment block. This comment block included a Purpose field, which in a moment of self-amusement our submitter changed to Porpoise throughout the VB6 classes and ASP scripts he'd written.

The first phase was released, and after code review, that particular implementation was cited as the paragon that other implementations should follow. Of course, this led to rampant copy-pasta throughout the entire system. By the end of phase 2, the code comments for the Dolphin project were inextricably filled with Porpoises. Being a subtle word change, it largely went unnoticed. Every once in a while, a developer would actually notice and nearly keel over laughing.

Of course, there's also a famous instance of a code comment going properly viral. Deep within the bowels of the Unix kernel, there is a method responsible for saving the CPU context when processes are switched—any time a time slice is used up, an interrupt signal is caught, a system call is made, or a page fault occurs. The code to do this in an efficient manner is horrifically complicated, so it's commented with, You are not expected to understand this. This comment can now be found on buttons, mousepads, t-shirts, hoodies, and tons of other merchandise. It's become a rallying cry of the Unix geeks, a smug way of saying, "I understand where this is from. Do you?"

Have any of you ever written something that went viral, either locally within your company or across the broader Internet community? Let us know in the comments or—if you've got a good one—drop us a submission.

[Advertisement] Application Release Automation for DevOps – integrating with best of breed development tools. Free for teams with up to 5 users. Download and learn more today!