• LCrawford (unregistered)

    Today that web site still runs a news ticker down the side. Recently it gave news about hurricane Imran hitting Florida.

  • Jurarigo (unregistered)

    That's... disappointingly short for a Featured Article.

  • Heinebold (unregistered)

    Where function

  • (nodebb)

    At least is was not a Search/Replace/Destroy implementation... (gratitude for small favors)

  • Abigail (unregistered)

    I guess the real WTF is that titles are part of the names instead of a separate field in a database table. (Or, if you want to get fancy, a table with titles, and a table linking people to titles, as people can have multiple titles).

  • Sauron (unregistered)

    If this was a website re-building, they could have just not re-implemented the titles functionality in the first place ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • can't think of any more stupid names (unregistered)

    Reminds me of a story a while back where some hapless dev had been tasked with editing a piece of user documentation to change all instances of (something like) "module a" with "module b" or some such. The complexities of the document were such that he had to scan the entire thing by hand, editing when he found such instances.

    His manager was getting irritated at the fact that it was taking him so long, barged him out of the way of his terminal, said "This is how you do it," did a global ignore-case search-and-replace of "a" with "b", then saved and committed the changes. No backup.

    I have a feeling that this anecdote appeared in the comments rather than as an actual TDWTF story. Does anyone recognise it?

  • Conradus (unregistered)

    They were lucky; that could have inflicted great dawizard on their reputation.

  • can't think of any more stupid names (unregistered)

    Comment held for moderation.

  • Sole Purpose Of Visit (unregistered)

    Oh, for the want of a regexp like


    Pretty sure I have that wrong, but it's a five minute stab at the requirement. The rest would just be look up tables.

    Having said which, I totally love the idea of one of Pakistan's most famous cricketers being renamed "Ian Khan." Perhaps we could reverse the process in England and get "Imran Botham?"

  • Michael R (unregistered) in reply to Sauron

    You must be new here.

  • Llarry (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Yikes (unregistered)

    What about creating a new, zero-length title and default everyone to that? It's the most elegant version I can think of for such an inelegant approach. If it's can't be zero-length, maybe just make it default to "X Æ A-12", cause who would have a name like that?

  • (nodebb) in reply to Sole Purpose Of Visit

    Yeah. I guess the original was made by another shmuck with about as much knowledge of regexps as you.

    If you don't understand regular expressions, don't call yourself a developer!

  • Dvon E (unregistered) in reply to Abigail

    Multiple titles? A table? I'm sure then your module can handle "His Majesty Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith" and so on for quite a while if you wish to be accurate.

  • Nick (unregistered) in reply to Jenda

    If you don’t understand regular expressions, don’t call yourself a developer

    Conversely, if you do understand regular expressions, do call yourself a liar ;-)

    I had 1 problem, so I used a regex. Now I have Mr1 problems.

  • MaxiTB (unregistered)

    Replace All is always a huge potenional for disaster. At least it was in code and can be easily rollbacked, I once had to restore a DB because the DB backup was considered to old. That was no fun and of course, I was the one who spoke out before that it is not a good idea, so I ended up fixing the mess of others :-)

  • (nodebb) in reply to Jenda

    If you don't understand regular expressions, don't call yourself a developer!

    There's no actual connection between "I know regexps" and "I am a developer". Really. Neither is required for the other.

  • can't think of any more stupid names (unregistered)

    Looking forward to reading that book by Alan Garner "The Moon of Goath".

  • Abigail (unregistered) in reply to can't think of any more stupid names

    Yeah I have heard a similar story in the early 1990s. About vi. Someone showing how you can easily change all as to es:


    And you can easily change it back:


    Except of course that changes each original e to a as well. And vi in those days didn't have unlimited undo. Just undo. Undo-undo would just undo the undo.

    As for your story, since the manager committed the change, it means the file is in source control. Which mean, it will be trivial to roll back to a previous version.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Abigail

    "since the manager committed the change, it means the file is in source control"

    LOL. It could mean the manager overwrote the 'master copy' file on the shared drive, or any of the other idiot ways to 'commit' changes.

  • (nodebb)

    I must add a clbuttic feature of IBM DB2: all usernames started with SYS (case-insensitive) are reserved. Which means they can exist (via LDAP integration), but they cannot ever log in.

    Took a while to discover why Josef Sysel cannot log in :-)

  • Duston (unregistered)

    "it means the file is in source control. " You must be new here

  • (nodebb) in reply to Yikes

    OK, so using "Mr CPU Wizard" how do you do a "zero length title"....

  • Mark J (unregistered)

    I've heard of a sort of 'reverse' on this substitution...I am loosely acquainted with Dr. Jay Apt, a now-retired shuttle astronaut. He tells the story of getting a mass mailing from some high-end publication that used their mailing system to EXPAND all the abbreviations - substituting 'Street' for 'St', 'Road' for 'Rd', and so on. They sent him a piece of junk mail addressed to 'Dr. Apartment'

  • Yikes (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    I inferred that the title was a separate field, since they could apply it to everyone, and because there was no mention of having to strip out "Mrs.", "Ms.", "Dr.", etc. from the name strings. My understanding was that they simply didn't care about title anymore, so were planning on setting everyone's title field to "Mr.". At some point, a piece of code meant to display the name will have received the name with the title prepended, maybe by a database call. The plan by them was to replace "Mr." -- or, I guess, "Mr" -- with "". Perhaps I'm being naive, but my suggestion was to look through the database and replace all titles with a blank title "", but there would probably be repercussions due to the invalidity of the empty title by its absence from a standard set of titles.

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