Recent Feature Articles

Nov 2021

Classic WTF: When Comments go Wild

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It's a holiday in the US, so while we're gathering with friends and family, reminiscing about old times, let's look back on the far off year of 2004, with this classic WTF. Original -- Remy

Bil Simser comments on comments ...

I'm always pleased when I see developers commenting code. It means there's something there that should be commented so the next guy will know WTF whoever wrote it was thinking. However much like any FOX special, there are times when "Comments Gone Wild". I present some production code that contains some more, err, useful comments that I've found.

A Binary Choice

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As a general rule, don't invent your own file format until you have to, and even then, probably don't. But sometimes, you have to.

Tim C's company was building a format they called "generic raw format". It was solving a hard problem: they were collecting messages from a variety of organizations, in a mix of binary and plaintext, and dumping them into a flat file. Each file might contain many messages, and they needed to be able to split those messages and timestamp them correctly.