We get a lot of bad date code samples. Since we all learned to read a calendar in elementary school, everyone assumes they actually understand how dates work, and then tries to codify that knowledge in code. Bad date code is like entry level awfulness, and it takes a lot to surprise me when I see bad date handling code. Mike R knows how to do it, though. He found this code buried in a 30+ file commit, with the helpful commit message, “asdf;”:

public class DateUtil {
    private DateUtil() {
    }
    public static Date setDate(Date date){
        if (date == null) {
            return null;
        }
        return new Date(date.getTime());
    }
    public static Date getDate(Date date){
        if (date == null) {
            return null;
        }
        return new Date(date.getTime());
    }
}


public class DateUtilUnitTest {

    @Test
    public void testSetDate() throws Exception {
        Date date = new Date();
        Date result = DateUtil.setDate(date);
        assertThat(date,is(result));
    }

    @Test
    public void testSetsNullDate() throws Exception {
        Date date = null;
        Date result = DateUtil.setDate(date);
        assertThat(date,is(result));
    }

    @Test
    public void testGetDate() throws Exception {
        Date date = new Date();
        Date result = DateUtil.getDate(date);
        assertThat(date,is(result));
    }

    @Test
    public void testGetsNullDate() throws Exception {
        Date date = null;
        Date result = DateUtil.getDate(date);
        assertThat(date,is(result));
    }
}

It’s not fair to say that this does nothing- it does successfully clone the Date object. I’m not entirely sure, based on the method names, that’s what they meant to do, but that’s what it does. It may not even be what it’s used for. I suppose we should just be happy that it has unit tests, even if they’re not testing the clone and just confirming equality.


Normally, this would have been a Software on the Rocks podcast date, but we're taking a hiatus this week, because of illness. We'll be back in two weeks.
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