Remy Porter

Remy is a veteran developer who provides software for architectural installations with IonTank.

He's often on stage, doing improv comedy, but insists that he isn't doing comedy- it's deadly serious. You're laughing at him, not with him. That, by the way, is usually true- you're laughing at him, not with him.

The Sanity Check

by in CodeSOD on

I've been automating deployments at work, and for Reasons™, this is happening entirely in BASH. Those Reasons™ are that the client wants to use Salt, but doesn't want to give us access to their Salt environment. Some of our deployment targets are microcontrollers, so Salt isn't even an option.

While I know the shell well enough, I'm getting comfortable with more complicated scripts than I usually write, along with tools like xargs which may be the second best shell command ever invented. yes is the best, obviously.

Maximum Performance

by in CodeSOD on

There is some code, that at first glance, doesn’t seem great, but doesn’t leap out as a WTF. Stephe sends one such block.

double SomeClass::getMaxKeyValue(std::vector<double> list)
    double max = 0;
    for (int i = 0; i < list.size(); i++) {
        if (list[i] > max) {
            max = list[i];
    return max;

The Enabler

by in CodeSOD on

Shaneka works on software for an embedded device for a very demanding client. In previous iterations of the software, the client had made their own modifications to the device's code, and demanded they be incorporated. Over the years, more and more of the code came from the client, until the day when the client decided it was too much effort to maintain the ball of mud and just started demanding features.

One specific feature was a new requirement for turning the display on and off. Shaneka attempted to implement the feature, and it didn't work. No matter what she did, once they turned the display off, they simply couldn't turn it back on without restarting the whole system.

A Test Configuration

by in Representative Line on

Tyler Zale's organization is a automation success story of configuration-as-code. Any infrastructure change is scripted, those scripts are tested, and deployments happen at the push of a button.

They'd been running so smoothly that Tyler was shocked when his latest automated pull request for changes to their HAProxy load balancer config triggered a stack of errors long enough to circle the moon and back.

A/F Testing

by in CodeSOD on

A/B testing is a strange beast, to me. I understand the motivations, but to me, it smacks of "I don't know what the requirements should be, so I'll just randomly show users different versions of my software until something 'sticks'". Still, it's a standard practice in modern UI design.

What isn't standard is this little blob of code sent to us anonymously. It was found in a bit of code responsible for A/B testing.

Modern Art: The Funnel

by in CodeSOD on

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it's a picture of code, you could say that it contains a thousand words, too. Especially when it's bad code.

A 35 line enum definition which channels down to a funnel shape, I apologize for not providing the code in textual form, but honestly, this needs to be seen to be believed

Here we have a work of true art. The symmetry hearkens back to the composition of a frame of a Wes Anderson film, and the fact that this snippet starts on line 418 tells us that there's more to this story, something exotic happening just outside of frame. The artist is actively asking questions about what we know is true, with the method calls? —I think they're method calls— which take too many parameters, most of which are false. There are hints of an Inner Platform, but they're left for the viewer to discover. And holding it all together are the funnel-like lines which pull the viewer's eyes, straight through the midline, all the way down to the final DataType.STRING, which really says it all, doesn't it? DataType.STRING indeed.

Aggregation of Concatenation

by in Representative Line on

A few years back, JSON crossed the “really good hammer” threshold. It has a good balance of being human readable, relatively compact, and simple to parse. It thus has become the go-to format for everything. “KoHHeKT” inherited a service which generates some JSON from an in-memory tree structure. This is exactly the kind of situation where JSON shines, and it would be trivial to employ one of the many JSON serialization libraries available for C# to generate JSON on demand.

Orrrrr… you could use LINQ aggregations, string formatting and trims…

Return of the Mask

by in CodeSOD on

Sometimes, you learn something new, and you suddenly start seeing it show up anywhere. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon is the name for that. Sometimes, you see one kind of bad code, and the same kind of bad code starts showing up everywhere. Yesterday we saw a nasty attempt to use bitmasks in a loop.

Today, we have Michele’s contribution, of a strange way of interacting with bitmasks. The culprit behind this code was a previous PLC programmer, even if this code wasn’t running straight on the PLC.