Friday, October 06, 2006


I Hate Programmers, Part 2

So, I'm reviewing a source file, and I run across this:

  CreateXML(false,false,true,true,true, false, true);

Wondering what the arguments meant, I tried a search:

SomeClass.cpp(2017):  CreateXML(false,false,true,true,true, false, true);
SomeClass.cpp(2135):  CreateXML(false,true,true,false,false, false, false);
SomeClass.cpp(2254):  CreateXML(false,false,true,false,false, false, false);
SomeClass.cpp(2334):  CreateXML(false,false,false,true,false, false, false);
SomeClass.cpp(2413):  CreateXML(true,false,false,true,false, true, false); 
SomeClass.cpp(2492):  CreateXML(false,false,false,false,true, false, false);
SomeClass.cpp(2572):  CreateXML(true,false,false,true,false, false, false);

I am especially amused by the fact that the last two arguments on each call have spaces before them. The difference in style suggests a different author. It means that somebody thought it would be a good idea to add two more mysterious boolean arguments to a function that already had five mysterious boolean arguments.

It was no surprise to find that the CreateXML function was a few hundred lines long. It contains 39 if statements. I'm sure the authors were proud of the powerful function they'd created.

All those calls to this function with all the parameters hard coded?

May I suggest you submit this to
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