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.

Aug 2017

The Story of Things

by in CodeSOD on

Every line of code tells a story. It never just… appears. Someone made and crafted that code. There’s a story, and an explanation for how that code could be. The world, even the bad, awful corners of it, makes sense and can be understood.

For example, Luke sends us this block.

An Emailed Condition

by in CodeSOD on

For a change of pace, the code in this CodeSOD isn’t the real WTF. Our Anonymous submitter works for a company that handles meeting scheduling for corporate customers. This entails shipping off loads of HTML-emails, and that means using a relatively terrible WYSIWYG editor that generates code like this:

<p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="color: #003877;">Meals</strong></p>
<p class="MsoNoSpacing">
<span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:" verdana",sans-serif;="" mso-fareast-language:en-gb"="">
All breakfasts and lunches will be served in Food Capital on the ground floor of the hotel.
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;
<p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span style="font-size:9.0pt;font-family:" verdana",sans-serif;="" mso-fareast-language:en-gb"="">
We look forward to hosting you for the following dinners:

Object Relational Mangling

by in CodeSOD on

Writing quality database code is a challenge. Most of your commands need to be expressed in SQL, which is a mildly complicated language made more complicated by minor variations across databases. Result sets often have a poor mapping to our business logic’s abstractions, especially in object-oriented languages. Thus, we have Object-Relational-Mapping tools, like Microsoft’s EntityFramework.

With an ORM, you use an object-oriented approach to fetching your objects, and could write something like: IList<HJFRate> rates = db.HJFRates.where(rate=>rate.typeOfUse == typeOfUse) to return all the rows as objects. There’s no concern about SQL injections, no need to process the result set directly. While ORMs can generate poor SQL, or create really inefficient data-access patterns, their ease-of-use is a big selling point.

Attack of the "i" Creatures

by in CodeSOD on

Mrs S” works for a large software vendor. This vendor has a tendency to quickly increase staffing to hit arbitrary release targets, and thus relies heavily on contractors. Since they’re usually doing this during a time crunch, these contractors may have a… dubious skill set.

They also don’t care. There is no documentation, no tests, and no explanation. They are just paid tho write the code, not maintain it. They’ll be on another contract before long, so it’s some other schmuck’s problem.

Protect Your Property

by in CodeSOD on

Given the common need to have getter/setter methods on properties, many languages have adopted conventions which try and make it easier to implement/invoke them. For example, if you name a method foo in Ruby, you can invoke it by doing: = 5.

In the .NET family of languages, there’s a concept of a property, which bundles the getter and setter methods together through some syntactical sugar. So, something like this, in VB.Net.

Drop it Like it's a Deployment

by in CodeSOD on

Zenith’s company went ahead on and outsourced 95% of their development to the lowest bidder. Said bidder promised a lot of XML and MVC and whatever TLAs sounded buzzwordy that day, and off they went. It’s okay, though, the customer isn’t just taking that code and deploying it- “Zenith” gets to do code reviews to ensure code quality. The general flow of the post-code-review conversation goes something like:

Zenith: This code shouldn’t go into production, hell, it’s so bad that a proud parent wouldn’t even hang it on their fridge.
Management: I’ll raise your concerns.
Outsourced Team: We did the needful, please review again.
Zenith: They didn’t change anything. It doesn’t even compile.
Offshore Team: There are too many barriers, we cannot hit deadlines, your team is too strict
Managment: Yeah… I guess you’re gonna have to lay off the contractors. Don’t be so strict in your code reviews. We have to deliver software!

Synchronized Threads

by in CodeSOD on

Tim was debugging one of those multithreading bugs, where there appeared to be a race condition of some kind. The developer who had initially written the code denied that such a thing could exist: “It’s impossible, I used locks to synchronize the threads!”

Well, he did use locks at the very least.