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.

May 2019

A Committed Parent

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In Java-land, it’s still extremely common for problems to be solved by application of XML. Nowhere is this more true than in Java build processes, which is where Maven and its infamous POM.xml file come into play.

Maven is an opinionated build framework- it requires that your project fit into a certain pattern. It’s also fiendishly complex. It also has some surprising guns with which you can target your own foot.

When the Man's Hash Comes Around

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One of the risks of cloud-hosted or Software-as-a-Service solutions is that someday, the vendor might cease to be. They might become an ex-vendor. Sure, you have a similar risk with an on-prem solution, but at least there you can probably limp along for a decade without ever getting a software update. But with SaaS, when they turn the servers off…

Well, Wolvenhaven's company had a plan. When their SaaS provider announced they were closing up shop, the company bought their source code. Now, what was a service could be brought on-prem, and Wolvenhaven was responsible for doing the code review to see what that would take.

Do Fiasco

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Consuela works with a senior developer who has been with the company since its founding, has the CEO’s ear, and basically can do anything they want.

These days, what they want to do is code entirely locally on their machine, hand the .NET DLL off to Consuela for deployment, and then complain that their fancy code is being starved for hardware resources.

Tern Failure into a Success

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Oliver Smith stumbled across a small but surprising bug when running some automated tests against a mostly clean code-base. Specifically, they were trying to break things by playing around with different compiler flags and settings. And they did, though in a surprising case.

bool long_name_that_maybe_distracted_someone()

True Confession: Without a Map

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Today, we have the special true confession from Bruce, who wrote some bad code, but at least knows it’s bad.

Bruce is a C# developer. Bruce is not a web developer. Someone around the office, though, had read an article about how TypeScript was closer to “real” languages, like C#, and asked Bruce to do some TypeScript work.

Transport Layer Stupidity

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Keith H’s boss came by his cube.

“Hey, you know how our insurance quote site has TLS enabled by default?”

The National Integration

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Sergio works for a regional public administration. About a decade ago, the national government passed some laws or made some regulations, and then sent a software package to all the regional administrations. This software package was built to aggregate reports from the local databases into a single, unified, consistent interface on a national website.

Of course, each regional group did things their own way, so the national software package needed to be customized to work. Also, each regional administration had their own reporting package which already did some of this, and which they liked better, because they already knew how it worked. In the case of Sergio's employer, even more important: their organization's logo was prominently displayed.

What For?

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Pretty much every language has many ways to do loops/iteration. for and while and foreach and do while and function application and recursion and…

It’s just too many. Mike inherited some code which cleans up this thicket of special cases for iteration and just uses one pattern to solve every iteration problem.


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C# has always had some variation on “string interpolation”, although starting in C# version 6, they added an operator for it, to make it easier. Now, you can do something like $"{foo} has a {bar}", which can be a very easy to read method of constructing formatted strings. In this example, {foo} and {bar} will be replaced by the value of variables with the same name.

C#’s implementation is powerful. Pretty much any valid C# expression can be placed inside of those {}. Unfortunately for Petr, that includes the string interpolation operator, as a co-worker’s code demonstrates…

If I Failed

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Let's simply start with some code, provided by Adam:

static bool Failed(bool value) { return value; }

Switching Daily

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A not uncommon pattern is to use a dictionary, or array as a lookup table in place of a switch or conditional. In some languages, like Python, there is no switch statement, and dictionaries are the main way to imitate that behavior.

In languages like JavaScript, where the line between objects and dictionaries is blurred to the point of non-existence, it’s a common approach. A lot of switch statements can be converted to an object literal with functions as its values, e.g.:

Inching Along

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"Procedures should be as small as possible," is good advice. Like any good advice, you can take it too far.

Mike recently was asked to upgrade a SQL Sever 2000 database to SQL Server 2016. Since this was an upgrade, Mike wasn't supposed to make any changes beyond the necessary changes to make the upgrade work. Still, when he found a bunch of methods with the same basic naming pattern, he had to investigate.