• GleeMonk (unregistered)

    This is how you learn not to put your initials in the code.

  • foo AKA fooo (unregistered)
    #pragma warning( disable : 4507 34 )
    What's this, Visual Studio on a Linux box?

    // We don't need no stupid anonymization FAF

  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to GleeMonk
    GleeMonk:
    This is how you learn not to put your initials in the code.

    This is how you learn to put someone else's initials in the code

  • Warren (unregistered)

    Although the scientists' comments were a bit stupid(!), Paul’s boss was right to call out the tellytubby comment. I mean, who could possibly choose Tinky Winky?

  • TheCPUWizard (cs)

    Over the years I have seen far too many cases where inappropriate comments came back to haunt the creator...(including myself a few times in the "early years")...

    Best to keep the comments on track - of course that will reduce the amount of WTF material....

  • Frank (unregistered)

    I dread to think what would be said if anyone inspected the comments in our codebase for professionalism. Or the documents in our knowledge base, or the contents of our team mailbox. Or anything my immediate supervisor has had a hand in writing.

    At least we don't have stupid things like commit comments to worry about.

  • Your Name (unregistered)

    I thought this was supposed to be an Australian Defence Department, so why is it all spelt 'murican?

  • Daniel (unregistered)

    TRWTF is using CVS.

  • Pollmeister (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Roby McAndrew (cs)

    The pragma suppresses incorrect warnings; it is fair to describe them as "stupid". Why would other staff assume the comment refers to them?

    However, if you have version control, why initial comments?

    Finally, it's very dispiriting working in an environment where all humour is vigorously suppressed. I'd complain to HR about the scientists creating a bad atmosphere due to their complete lack of humour.

  • Roby McAndrew (cs) in reply to Pollmeister
    Pollmeister:
    There's a Poll available on our Forums where you may vote for your favorite Teletubby. Links can be found in the Sidebar or in this post.

    I refuse to take part in that as it doesn't list Noo-Noo. You always ignore the workers don't you?

  • Paul's boss (unregistered)

    Everyone knows that Po is the best Tellytubby.

  • Peter (unregistered) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    GleeMonk:
    This is how you learn not to put your initials in the code.

    This is how you learn to put someone else's initials in the code

    Your boss's, for example. Or better, some stupid scientist's boss

  • Franky (unregistered)

    oh, that sounds so familiar ... "the indians are offended because you didn't write 'hi' and 'br' in your emails", "the indians are offended because you rightfully swore at them", ...

  • belzebub (unregistered)

    Am I the only one here who thinks that namespaces longer than 256 characters are a huge WTF?

    As I see it, there are total of 6 WTFs:

    1. namespaces over 256 chars

    2. dealing with insanely long namespaces by turning warnings off instead of making namespaces shorter

    3. calling warnings stupid while using way too long namespaces

    4. "signing" comments with initials when using version control

    5. nonsense "humor" in commits

    6. using CVS (assuming it's not 15 years old)

    "The offended scientist" requesting removal of STUPID comment is not a WTF, request for teletubies "humor" removal also not a WTF.

  • tragomaskhalos (unregistered)

    I got bitten by something very similar - some pointless architecture astronaut type delighting in getting all het up over some vaguely off-colour comment I'd put in a checkin.

    It's the same attitude that informs the idiotic view (brilliantly deconstructed by Spolsky) that design documents have to be inordinately boring and po-faced otherwise they are not "professional", despite the demonstrable fact that introducing a bit of humour or chattiness into them can make them far easier to read and understand.

  • Shoreline (cs) in reply to Warren
    Warren:
    Although the scientists' comments were a bit stupid(!), Paul’s boss was right to call out the tellytubby comment. I mean, who could possibly choose Tinky Winky?

    It's very hard to side with the scientists because the case they make ("Do you think national defense is stupid?") is fallacious in places. It's hard to trust an argument that contains fallacies, because it is reasonable to conclude that a person using them is not thinking rationally.

    The scientist's case should have been "the information to word ratio is too low in this comment", or "can you explain why it's stupid, using a short explanation or a reference to a technical report". If that.

    I also do childrens' parties.

  • belzebub (unregistered) in reply to tragomaskhalos
    tragomaskhalos:
    It's the same attitude that informs the idiotic view (brilliantly deconstructed by Spolsky) that design documents have to be inordinately boring and po-faced otherwise they are not "professional", despite the demonstrable fact that introducing a bit of humour or chattiness into them can make them far easier to read and understand.
    There's a big difference between having "interesting" and/or humorous document (I wouldn't call commit message or c++ comment a document) and adding irrelevant random "funny things".

    The "good" usage, as I see it, is for example Guido van Rossum's usage of Monty Python references in python's tutorial and documentation, where they are integral part of the text and they do not lead you away from the subject (python programming).

    The "bad" usage would be a pointy-haired boss using a picture of his hideous child in 6738 pages long superboring powerpoint presentation just to "lighten up the mood", while effectively proving to everyone he's a moron and shouldn't be allowed to procreate.

  • Meep (unregistered)

    TRWTF are comments that don't tell you anything you can't get by looking directly at the code and reading simple English words.

    // We don't need these stupid warning messages PMJ
    #pragma warning( disable : 4507 34 )
    

    Thanks, moron, I can read "warning disable". What do the numeric codes stand for? That's the only thing you should mention in the comment!

    // Suppress stupid warnings about long namespaces
    #pragma warning( disable : 4507 34 )
    

    Is that so fucking hard?!

  • foo (unregistered)

    Ok, lets test the professionalism of the linux kernel developers...

    /usr/src/linux-3.12.24 $>for word in stupid fuck fucking fucked moron idiot shit teletubby; do\
        echo -n "$word: "; fgrep -rwi "${word}" * | wc -l;\
    done
    
    stupid: 154
    fuck: 6
    fucking: 20
    fucked: 16
    moron: 1
    idiot: 5
    shit: 24
    teletubby: 0
    

    Nothing about teletubbies at least

  • Frank (unregistered) in reply to Peter
    Peter:
    Anon:
    GleeMonk:
    This is how you learn not to put your initials in the code.

    This is how you learn to put someone else's initials in the code

    Your boss's, for example. Or better, some stupid scientist's boss

    Or Paul's

  • John Chambers (but not that one) (unregistered)

    Well, I was disappointed that the story didn't proceed to the disaster that followed the order to "to remove the word ‘stupid’ wherever it appears in the code base". This is a perfect situation for a "clbuttic" type error. All you need is a few variable names that happen to contain the character string "stupid", and removing them causes two names to be merged into one. And, of course, when the problem is diagnosed, the coders oh-so-innocently explain that they aren't allowed to fix it, because they have an explicit order to make that change. Then they can goof off, watch Teletubbies, whatever, until the power structure figures out that they have to actually admit their mistake and replace their erroneous command with one that's technically correct.

    Yep, I've seen groups of developers use this approach (usually with a shorter objectionable word that "stupid") to teach their bosses a lesson. But unfortunately, it's generally not feasible to use this to instill a sense of humor.

  • tin (cs)

    Considering the "stupid" coming out of our (Australian) government regarding computers and networks at the moment, I'm not surprised they're getting offended by the word "stupid" written on a computer.

  • sino (unregistered) in reply to Roby McAndrew
    Roby McAndrew:
    The pragma suppresses incorrect warnings; it is fair to describe them as "stupid". Why would other staff assume the comment refers to them?
    Because they are, in fact, stupid.
  • KattMan (cs)

    Just for the record, my favorite teletubbie was Drinky Winky, he had a magic bottle that made all his troubles disappear.

  • foo AKA fooo (unregistered) in reply to John Chambers (but not that one)
    John Chambers (but not that one):
    Well, I was disappointed that the story didn't proceed to the disaster that followed the order to "to remove the word ‘stupid’ wherever it appears in the code base". This is a perfect situation for a "clbuttic" type error. All you need is a few variable names that happen to contain the character string "stupid", and removing them causes two names to be merged into one. And, of course, when the problem is diagnosed, the coders oh-so-innocently explain that they aren't allowed to fix it, because they have an explicit order to make that change. Then they can goof off, watch Teletubbies, whatever, until the power structure figures out that they have to actually admit their mistake and replace their erroneous command with one that's technically correct.
    Except that it is technically correct. You know, word != character string. (Yes, I do get "clbuttic" as a joke, but for teaching someone a lesson, well no ...)
  • Walky_one (unregistered) in reply to belzebub
    belzebub:
    Am I the only one here who thinks that namespaces longer than 256 characters are a huge WTF?

    Did you ever program with C++ STL? If you use templates you automatically get this warning.

    Problem:

    You write something like list[MyClass] . The compiler will generate something like list[std::allocator[MyClass], std::iterator[std::allocator[MyClass], MyClass], std::rev_iterator[std::allocator[MyClass], MyClass]]

    Now assume you use something like MyCompany::MyProject::MyClass instead... Good luck reading your messages.

    Note: seems the correct brackt type is not allowed

  • Experienced Noob (unregistered) in reply to Paul's boss
    Paul's boss:
    Everyone knows that Po is the best Tellytubby.
    Second!
  • MrBester (unregistered)

    Why are the research scientists looking at the code? Shouldn't they be just running the programs and doing research?

  • Matt Westwood (cs)
    // We don't need these stupid scientists PBJ
    
  • Pista (unregistered) in reply to MrBester
    MrBester:
    Why are the research scientists looking at the code? Shouldn't they be just running the programs and doing research?
    Maybe because they're paranoid (not too surprising, considering that they're in national defense)?
  • Anonymous Coward (unregistered) in reply to Roby McAndrew
    Roby McAndrew:
    However, if you have version control, why initial comments?

    At my last job, access to version control (Oracle Designer's RON, basically an interface to an Oracle BLOB table) was strictly limited to management. The "proper" software development process was:

    1. Email manager for check-out request with list of files you need to touch for your task.
    2. Wait for manager to read email, check out files, save to common network drive.
    3. Copy files to local workspace, do your work.
    4. Email manager again with check-in request, either attaching updated files or pointing to a different folder on common network drive.
    5. Wait for manager to check in files.
    6. Wait for daily build.
    7. Your code is now available in development region.

    Managers only ever check out and in using a period or "for John" for comments so it is on you and your tech lead to make sure your changes are marked with initials in comments marking what changed.

    After a few years I moved to a new project under the same consulting contract where we used subversion... and the team had only one SVN account to share among 5-6 devs.

  • foobar (unregistered) in reply to foo
    foo:
    Ok, lets test the professionalism of the linux kernel developers...
    /usr/src/linux-3.12.24 $>for word in stupid fuck fucking fucked moron idiot shit teletubby; do\
        echo -n "$word: "; fgrep -rwi "${word}" * | wc -l;\
    done
    
    stupid: 154
    fuck: 6
    fucking: 20
    fucked: 16
    moron: 1
    idiot: 5
    shit: 24
    teletubby: 0
    

    Nothing about teletubbies at least

    In 3.14.xx "fucked" is depricated. In 3.17.xx "fucked" has been replaced with "hella-fuck-sacked".

  • Stupid (unregistered)

    The WTF is the need to not have humor in our workplace because "It's not professional"

    I find it stupid that people can put stupid comments into their code or repository comments. Heaven forbid you have some stupid fun while at work. OMFG, some stupid person might not have a sense of humor. Well, stupid on them!

  • Berkery (unregistered)

    This reminds me of the time my colleagues were tweaking our intranet's search engine and used the same query every time during testing. They momentarily forgot about the 'top search terms'-list.

    New entry at number 1 was 'Anal sex'.

  • eman_ruoy (unregistered) in reply to Roby McAndrew
    Roby McAndrew:
    Why would other staff assume the comment refers to them?

    I am constantly amazed how some people take comments personally, when the comment has absolutely nothing to do with that person whatsoever nor was the comment ever directed at them.

    For example, you could say to your friend, "This doughnut is not my favorite type." And if the cook hears you, they hear, "They think ALL my doughnuts are crap! They think I'm crap! Well, I'm going to give them a piece of my mind..."

    This happens many times in hot-topic social and political topics, particularly with people who are looking to be offended.

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered) in reply to Meep
    Meep:
    TRWTF are comments that don't tell you anything you can't get by looking directly at the code and reading simple English words.
    // We don't need these stupid warning messages PMJ
    #pragma warning( disable : 4507 34 )
    

    Thanks, moron, I can read "warning disable". What do the numeric codes stand for? That's the only thing you should mention in the comment!

    // Suppress stupid warnings about long namespaces
    #pragma warning( disable : 4507 34 )
    

    Is that so fucking hard?!

    Quite. Plus a commit message like this:

    Fixed bug 7551, see issue report 2119.
    

    Well done - if I'm checking the VCS log to see what the commit message for a change was, perhaps you should mention what you fucking changed rather than just tagging it with a bunch of meaningless references to other databases.

    I mean, fine, put these refs in as well, but is it too hard to say what you did to fix the issue?

  • Stupid scientist (unregistered) in reply to Pista
    Pista:
    MrBester:
    Why are the research scientists looking at the code? Shouldn't they be just running the programs and doing research?
    Maybe because they're paranoid (not too surprising, considering that they're in national defense)?

    At least here in physics, we scientists often write our stupid code for simulations/data analysis ourselves, using some library a programmer wrote for us, so it runs a bit faster.

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to Herr Otto Flick
    Herr Otto Flick:
    Well done - if I'm checking the VCS log to see what the commit message for a change was, perhaps you should mention what you fucking changed rather than just tagging it with a bunch of meaningless references to other databases.

    I mean, fine, put these refs in as well, but is it too hard to say what you did to fix the issue?

    But it didn't fix the issue: it fixed the bug. The bug and issue must be referenced rather than directly stated because the issue and bug are likely to be updated in the future with further details.

  • Chelloveck (unregistered) in reply to Herr Otto Flick
    Herr Otto Flick:
    Well done - if I'm checking the VCS log to see what the commit message for a change was, perhaps you should mention what you fucking changed rather than just tagging it with a bunch of meaningless references to other databases.

    Bah. You want to see what was done? That's why your VCS has a 'diff' command. Boy, you just need to be spoon-fed, don't you?

  • DCRoss (cs)

    Paul's team spent the rest of the month trying to track down mysterious errors involving missing Stub Pointer IDs. Nobody is quite sure why that happened.

  • Gumpy Gus (unregistered)

    I got into deeper trouble when in some code that manipulated LIDAR and NUMSTAR data, I put in the comment "LIDAR and NUMSTAR sound like the names of two gay space aliens". Hoo boy, there were huge repercussions from that!

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered) in reply to Chelloveck
    Chelloveck:
    Herr Otto Flick:
    Well done - if I'm checking the VCS log to see what the commit message for a change was, perhaps you should mention what you fucking changed rather than just tagging it with a bunch of meaningless references to other databases.

    Bah. You want to see what was done? That's why your VCS has a 'diff' command. Boy, you just need to be spoon-fed, don't you?

    The diff command shows me what they changed.

    The log command tells me what they were thinking they were changing.

    That these two things are often different is the root cause of many bugs. By not putting in a proper commit message it is impossible to determine intent.

  • chubertdev (cs)

    Humor and professionalism are not mutually exclusive.

    These comments are neither funny nor professional.

  • Herr Otto Flick (unregistered) in reply to Paul Neumann
    Paul Neumann:
    Herr Otto Flick:
    Well done - if I'm checking the VCS log to see what the commit message for a change was, perhaps you should mention what you fucking changed rather than just tagging it with a bunch of meaningless references to other databases.

    I mean, fine, put these refs in as well, but is it too hard to say what you did to fix the issue?

    But it didn't fix the issue: it fixed the bug. The bug and issue must be referenced rather than directly stated because the issue and bug are likely to be updated in the future with further details.

    In all your pedantry did you have a point other than "HAHA he said ISSUE when he should have said BUG!!!!!111"?

    You quoted it, but probably didn't read it, so I'll put it in caps - INCLUDE THOSE NUMBERS AS WELL, BUT TELL ME WHAT YOU DID

  • cellocgw (cs) in reply to Gumpy Gus
    Gumpy Gus:
    I got into deeper trouble when in some code that manipulated LIDAR and NUMSTAR data, I put in the comment "LIDAR and NUMSTAR sound like the names of two gay space aliens". Hoo boy, there were huge repercussions from that!
    Don't leave us in suspense: was the outcry because you usd the word "space" or the word "aliens" ?
  • cellocgw (cs)

    Got this far in the thread and nobody's noticed TRWTF:

    The correct phrase is "we don't need no stinkin $NOUN"

    Gawrsh, don't they watch Bogie movies in OZ?

  • CigarDoug (unregistered) in reply to eman_ruoy
    eman_ruoy:
    Roby McAndrew:
    Why would other staff assume the comment refers to them?

    I am constantly amazed how some people take comments personally, when the comment has absolutely nothing to do with that person whatsoever nor was the comment ever directed at them.

    For example, you could say to your friend, "This doughnut is not my favorite type." And if the cook hears you, they hear, "They think ALL my doughnuts are crap! They think I'm crap! Well, I'm going to give them a piece of my mind..."

    This happens many times in hot-topic social and political topics, particularly with people who are looking to be offended.

    The President's daughter gave my son a crappy doughnut, and let me assure you it was no laughing matter.
  • John Chambers (but not that one) (unregistered) in reply to foo AKA fooo
    Except that it is technically correct. You know, word != character string. (Yes, I do get "clbuttic" as a joke, but for teaching someone a lesson, well no ...)

    Well, yeah, I knew that, but it doesn't quite work in this case. It's common for variable names to be multiple words and/or abbreviations, all run together without spaces or delimiters, because the programming language doesn't allow non-alphanum chars inside variable names. It'd be easy enough to include a "word" delimiter with most kinds of RE matching, but then the code would miss things like "stupidly", stupidest", "uberstupid", and all the other forms that the coders are likely to include in comments. After the pass showing that such things were missed, the harrassed victims of the manager's wrath are likely to just shrug, and do a "s/stupid//g" to satisfy the request in the short term. The next test shows the damage this did to a name made by catenating words containing "st up id" and dropping the spaces, and big grins break out on nearby faces as they realize the fun they can have with this demand.

    The only good solution is to hire intelligent managers with a sense of humor. But that's not the reality in the sort of companies whose creations appear here.

  • HAXIMUS PRIME (unregistered)

    I agree with the scientists, athough I suspect the reaction was exagerrated by the article author.

    There's nothing worse than looking through history on a project for some useful purpose like trying to discover why someone did something, and having to scrape through their shitty inside jokes that no longer have any relevancy.

    Imagine doing that TODAY on one of your projects. If you came accross something that didn't make sense, and you saw the author referenced teletubbies and called compiler warnings designed by someone (probably) much smarter than them stupid, how much...are you more likely to think "yeah this dude knew what he was doing" or "what an idiot."

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