• Frist (unregistered)

    Not in the code, but "Frist" went viral... what's the origin?

  • Yog-Sothoth (unregistered)

    Isn't that an Orca?

  • Jaloopa (unregistered)

    This never went viral because it was noticed and removed, but I always remember it.

    A client had made a fairly obvious mistake in how they entered some data, which led to one of those "you should never be able to trigger this" type error conditions. They didn't like that the software had allowed this even though it was triggered by the user doing something they really shouldn't have done. The error was fixed in the next version of the software but the client was staying on an older version and paying for extended support. The full fix was too complicated to backport, so a coworker added a check to warn the user if they'd done the stupid action. He prefixed the code with a comment along the lines of:

    //Client has requested they be alerted if this incompatible set of options is selected. Incedentally, the client is a fucking moron
  • Reginald P. Linux (unregistered) in reply to Jaloopa

    Incedentally, eh

  • Ippo (unregistered)

    One developer I didn't work with had the habit to place comments in places where he set values with " # force ". It was almost never a forced assignment, most of them were totally normal. Eventually this went viral and a lot of other developers started adding their own " # force " to reference that guy. Good times.

  • IP Guru (unregistered) in reply to Yog-Sothoth

    Yes it is an Orca The Orca is the largest member of the dolphin family

  • Quite (unregistered) in reply to Jaloopa

    TRWTF here, of course, is that the programmer has insulted the end user while themselves failing to understand one of the subtleties of spelling of the language in which he used to insult them.

    Whether the grammar they used is also a WTF depends on whether you adhere to the "descriptive" or "proscriptive" school of philosophical linguistics.

  • Randal L. Schwartz (google)

    I think these qualify:

    print "Just another Perl hacker,"

    Useless Use of Cat Award

  • Peter (unregistered)

    The UNIX comment is explained here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions%27_Commentary_on_UNIX_6th_Edition,_with_Source_Code

  • NotReallyHere (unregistered)

    "automagically" as substitute for automatically.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Peter

    Wow, that old-style assignment operator! I'm glad it never caught on.

  • Avium (unregistered)

    I used to work with a developer named Andrew (this is important to the story). He had one of those "this error will never occur" situations but he decided to be more self deprecating about it. The error message that popped up on the screen in large not-so friendly letters was, "Andrew is an idiot!"

    Guess which error occurred when demoing the software to the CEO of the client.

    Now guess the name of said CEO.

  • Pista (unregistered) in reply to Peter

    A much better explanation is given by the late Dennis Ritchie on his homepage: https://www.bell-labs.com/usr/dmr/www/odd.html

  • Rafa Larios (unregistered) in reply to Avium

    "Guess which error occurred when demoing the software to the CEO of the client.

    Now guess the name of said CEO."

    That's gold Jerry!, Gold!

  • dr memals (unregistered)

    We had a user database that had a field called "IdiotLevel". Needless to see instead of removing it the dev set themselves as 0 and all the managers as 255.

  • Brad (unregistered)

    I think these comments only come when code reviews aren't used (although, this one might have slipped by anyway). I would no longer get away with glib comments, but I wrote a comment above a gnarly method once (in a shop that didn't do regular code reviews), "This method here is what separates the men from the boys." That became a shop mantra.

  • ChaoticEd (unregistered)

    A long time ago when VB6 and SQL Server 7 ruled the MSFT world and I was a novice developer starting out I wanted to differentiate my TODOs from other TODOs so I wrote Lemur instead of TODO. For some reason I used a message box during debugging to notify me of a branch in the code that should never be entered and wrote a lemur infested message in the message box. This remain in place up until AT testing when someone managed to trigger the condition that couldn't happen. Since then lemurs have plagued me through out my professional and private life.

  • Every once in a while ... (unregistered)

    "Every once in a whale ...", shirley.

  • Submitted this to Slashdot. Go upvote it!!! (unregistered)

    We had to handle a lot of actions through controllers. Such as Scrolling, clicking, etc. So we decided on a standard naming convention.

    We had ScrollHandler, ClickHander, etc.

    Then we got into the next handler that we realized that we needed. We were pair programming. And I started laughing and I looked at my co-pair-programmer. After a second, he burst out laughing. We had to make a Hander for panning.

    So in the bowels of our code base we have a class called SPOILER! PanHandler

  • Darren A (unregistered)

    This reminds me of a previous company where we used to play 'buzz word cultivation'. This involved seeding key managers with outrageously inappropriate buzz words and seeing how long they took to fall into regular usage (i.e. appearing in emails, company newsletters, board minutes and so on).

    Sometimes these were just misspelled versions of existing phrases, sometimes they were obscure or suspicious euphemisms.

    Thus we had:

    • Shaving the monkey (a pointless activity)
    • Pissing in the coffin (spoiling something for no apparent reason)
    • Punching Cecil's baby (no idea)

    The winner was a corruption of 'ring-fence'. I nearly passed a kidney laughing when the MD stood up and reassured us that the training budget was 'ring-pieced' for 2001. Simpler days...

  • Darren A (unregistered)

    I also had to have words with someone about this gem found in the live code base:

    <snip> throw OAuthError ("Twat..."); </snip>
  • Developer Dude (google)

    I hope someday this will go viral - the preface for one of the worst classes in our codebase:

    • Hold your ground, hold your ground!
    • Sons of ******, my brothers and sisters!
    • I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
    • A day may come when the courage of developers fails,
    • when we forsake our code and break all bonds of rational logic,
    • but it is not this day.
    • An hour of thousand line methods and broken logic,
    • when the age of Java comes crashing down!
    • But it is not this day!
    • This day we fight!
    • By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Developers of
  • Joseph Osako, Jr. (github)

    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.

    Based on the Lions and Dennis Ritchie pages linked to above, my understanding is it was worse than that - the code was actually wrong, but seemed to work anyway because of a quirk in how the C compiler being used at Bell Labs at the time emitted code for the PDP-11.

    Hence their confusion; they could see that there was a problem, as every attempt to change the code broke it, but they couldn't figure out what the source of problem was because it was partially masked by the compiler's behavior, so they just gave up and marked it as "here be dragons".

    The first time they ported the kernel to another type of computer (an Interdata mini, according to Ritchie) with a different C compiler, they noticed a show-stopping mistake in (IIUC) order they were calling the context-save/restore routines, winced in embarrassment, and re-wrote the whole thing function from scratch.

  • Barry Margolin (google)

    In the Multics equivalent of fsck, there's an error message in a "can't possibly happen" code path


    which is Latin for "today unto the Root a brother is born", a play on a line from the New Testament about the birth of Jesus. It happens if it crawls up the filesystem hierarchy and reaches a root node that doesn't match the filesystem's actual root. Of course, one day the error actually did show up while booting the OS. The full story can be found at http://multicians.org/hodie-natus-est.html

  • Zenith (unregistered)

    Oh I've had a few. We had one where some busybody from the press office replaced a directory containing 50 forms with an enterprisey solution that had a non-functional search and broke every link on every update. After enough angry calls from people 90 days into a 90-day filing period demanding to know why my site was "horrible broken," I just started hosting the forms locally. Said busybody saw that and whined, so a line went in to change the status bar text on those links, with a comment along the lines of "press office busybody complained about solution to problem created by press office busybody."

    I worked on another system where an H1B "architect" refused to acknowledge bug reports. He had wrapped some ORM such that two successive Update() calls crashed the application server-wide. So I did this terrible reflection trick to climb through the stack and flip some flag he was setting wrong (TFS repository was locked - reads and writes - I had no choice). The comment read like "hack until Amberlamps is done doing the needful reverting the mails and fixes his buggy framework." Although, I think cramming 40 lines of code into 1 line with no spaces (so he wouldn't tinker with it and fuck it up without telling anybody) was probably a bigger middle finger.

    I think the "nicest" I ever wrote when an H1B made processing CSVs really hard. Users received CSVs in e-mail, so the page let you upload them, parsed them, and returned the results. Really easy, really fast. H1B demanded SSIS because reasons but wouldn't unblock the DLL that kicked off SSIS. So the user had to browse the network, reupload elsewhere on the network, kick off a SQL job to move the file a 3rd time, flip a flag in a tracking table, kick off another SQL job to kick off SSIS, and spin until the flag was reset. Really slow, really uninformative when there were errors. The comment was something like "[8-line working solution commented out][25 new steps] sorry, Swampduh was confused, errors now disappear." It objected to "sorry."

  • Jeremy Hannon (google)

    My favorite one came from a typo: HandelData. We started making musical references in the comments.

    The only one I did was on a custom reporting package I was building in the late 90's. All of these included the client's data point of including a "Beer and Wine" option. However, abbreviating it BW or BAndW in code kept making me think of Black and White, so I simplified it. All variables simply referenced as "booze".

  • Simon (unregistered) in reply to Yog-Sothoth

    Isn't that an Orca?

    No. I don't recognise the species, but it's certainly not an orca... colouring and shape are quite wrong. I assume it's some kind of porpoise as-advertised...

  • ImaMe (unregistered) in reply to Simon

    I would guess from the URL of the image (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Dalls_Porpoise_Underwater.JPG) that it is a Dalls Porpose.......

  • Simon (unregistered) in reply to ImaMe

    Yes, that could be a clue... ;)

  • Rick Altherr (google)

    Getting product and feature names past marketing was a hobby in a former team. We publicly shipped CHUD (reference to https://g.co/kgs/QuMVn1) and Windowed Trace Facility (shortened to WTF in the UI due to space constraints).

  • vdeogmer (unregistered) in reply to Simon

    You just missed a perfect opportunity to drop a [cetacean needed] there.

  • nasch (unregistered) in reply to vdeogmer

    You just missed a perfect opportunity to drop a [cetacean needed] there.

    This is amazing. Wonder if my comment will format properly, I can't remember if this stupid thing uses markdown or something else.

  • Tim (unregistered) in reply to IP Guru

    Is it? I thought Dolphin Lundgren was the largest...

  • (nodebb)

    In one of my program's log-files it writes "shitdown" instead of shutdown.

  • 🤷 (unregistered)

    This one SHOULD go viral. In our codebase there is a comment from a developer who's no longer with us (left long before I started here):

    //Decided spontaneously to enter this into production before I'm off to holiday tomorrow.

  • eric bloedow (unregistered) in reply to masterX244179

    reminds me of a silly story: supposedly someone sat on a keyboard, and somehow touched the keys in such a way to make the on-screen prompt say "enter your assword".

  • (nodebb) in reply to eric bloedow

    LOL, the usual typo. YOurs a nonentered key, mine hitting wrong one. Since that one typo of me happened all of my private programs got that errored log-message as a running gag

  • Deanna Earley (google)

    I managed to sneak a prompt of "Press the any key to continue" into one of my apps. No one noticed :(

  • Saxxon (unregistered)

    We did have someone leave a CSS comment along the lines of "/* CHECK OUT THIS HOT !@#$ RIGHT HERE */" and it stayed in the code for a year. One of our customers found it. The kicker is it was written immediately above rather mundane CSS.

  • JTM (unregistered)

    Some genius PHB decided the simple command line interface we developers use for our embedded devices should be made available to customers who didn't want to pay for the nice GUI version. As it was a wrapper to configure the device, he dubbed it the cost reduced Wrapper, or crWrapper for short. Flushing the crWrapper never fails to raise a laugh 4 years on.

  • Nils (unregistered)

    I remember seeing a class that sets up Hooks called "Hooker" somewhere.

  • RickS (unregistered)

    I used to work for a guy named Mikhail, and the product I worked on was written in C. I came across a few comments in the code left by a developer that worked there before me. In each case the comment said something like: "I didn't want to write the code this way, but Mikhail made me do it." The really funny part is that this company would release the source code to customers allowing them to run Make to build it themselves. I often wonder how many of the customers saw the comments.

  • Gary Taylor (google)

    I did, at one point, have a program that required certain authorization to get into.

    Before going into production, if invalid credentials we're out in, a message box would pop up saying, "Do you think this is a f**king game? Access denied!" (Not censored mind you.)

    Co-workers and I had a good laugh...

    Until one of them accidentally pushed it out to users without my knowledge.

    I handed in my two weeks notice. My boss had to keep from laughing while he told me it was a really bad offense but he wasn't going to fire me.

    To this day, co-workers and staff walk by my cube and say, "Remember Gary. It's not a f**king game."

  • Haggishunter (unregistered)

    I've become a vector for this, but how may people must it infect to be classed as viral?

    Some years ago I was walking through the basement that connected most of the buildings where I worked, and there was a length of two-by-four (or maybe four-by-two, it was a while ago) sitting on a shelf, above a sign saying "In case of emergency hit Brian with stick" and blue-lined with "really hard". Years later while working on a VBA-encrusted masterpiece in another company and country, I titled some of my should-be-impossible error messages "hit [Haggishunter] with a big stick." So far the stick is untriggered.

  • DerHinek (unregistered)

    I found this comments in the angular.js source amusing. They occur multiple times:

    // Insanity Warning: scope depth-first traversal // yes, this code is a bit crazy, but it works and we have tests to prove it!

  • Hans (unregistered)

    One of my favourites, which should have gone viral but didn't really do so, partly because things typically didn't in those days, is the VMS "microfortnight": http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/M/microfortnight.html

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    Mmm.. good to be here in your article or post, whatever, I think I should also work hard for my own website like I see some good and updated working in your site.

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