Friday, March 17, 2006


Spelling-Police Enforcement Action

A few weeks ago, I complained about poor spelling in our new codebase, and promised that eventually I'd fix it, despite other programmers' objections.

Today was the day. A few forces came together to give me the push:

  1. The lead programmer quit last week. I'm sorry to see him go, but it gives me the freedom to ignore his aesthetic choices.
  2. Another proud misspeller has been out sick all week.
  3. The code has been pretty stable for the past several days, so I could safely modify a couple dozen files without stepping on anyone's toes.
  4. We're about to start the next phase of the project, so I wanted this cleaned up before we got too busy with other things
  5. It was Friday afternoon, and I didn't feel like doing any real work.

I changed all the instances of okey to OK (eight places), all the instances of seperators to separators (24 places), and all the instances of quanity to quantity (284 places). When I was finished, I had the greatest sense of accomplishment I've had for years.

I wish I could say that after making all these changes, I re-ran our automated unit tests to verify that I didn't miss anything and that nothing broke. The problem is that we don't have automated unit tests. So I'll just have to cross my fingers, and if anything does go wrong, I'll just blame the ex-employee.

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