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.

Why Is This Here?

by in CodeSOD on

Oma was tracking down a bug where the application complained about the wrong parameters being passed to an API. As she traced through the Java code, she spotted a construct like this:

Long s = foo.getStatusCode(); if (s != null) { //do stuff } else { //raise an error }

Relative Versioning

by in Feature Articles on

Today's submission comes from someone going by Albert Einstein. Before we look at what they sent us, let's talk a little bit about version numbers.

Version numbers, if you think about it, are a deeply weird construct, and they're trying to balance a lot of difficult goals. At its simplest, a version number is meant to order your releases. Version 2 comes after version 1. Version 3 comes next. But even this simple goal is surprisingly difficult, because your releases only exist in order if you only have one chain of history for your product. The instant you have to have a custom build for one customer, or you start doing AB testing, or your library has to provide multiple interfaces for different deployment conditions, or one developer down in the basement decides to fork and not tell anyone- releases cease to have a linear order.


The Pair of All Sums

by in CodeSOD on

Learning about data structures- when to use them, how to use them, and why- is a make-or-break moment for a lot of programmers. Some programmers master this. Some just get as far as hash maps and call it a day, and some… get inventive.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re Jim J’s coworker. You have an object called a Closing. A Closing links two Entrys. This link is directed, so entry 1->2 is one Closing, while 2->1 is another. In real-world practice, though, two Closings that are linked together in both directions should generally be interacted with as pairs. So, 1->2 and 2->1 may not be the same object, but they’re clearly related.


Ternt Up GUID

by in CodeSOD on

UUIDs and GUIDs aren’t as hard as dates, but boy, do they get hard, don’t they. Just look at how many times they come up. It’s hard to generate a value that’s guaranteed to be unique. And there’s a lot of ways to do it- depending on your needs, there are some UUIDs that can be sorted sequentially, some which can be fully random, some which rely on hash algorithms, and so on.

Of course, that means, for example, your UUIDs aren’t sequential. Even with time-based, they’re not in sequence. They’re just sortable.


Switch the Dropdown

by in CodeSOD on

Bogdan Olteanu picked up a simple-sounding bug. There was a drop-down list in the application which was missing a few entries. Since this section of the app wasn't data-driven, that meant someone messed up when hard-coding the entries into the dropdown.

Bogdan was correct. Someone messed up, alright.


Certifiable Success

by in CodeSOD on

“Hey, apparently, the SSL cert on our web-service expired… in 2013.”

Laura’s company had a web-service that provided most of their business logic, and managed a suite of clients for interacting with that service. Those clients definitely used SSL to make calls to that web-service. And Laura knew that there were a bunch of calls to ValidateServerCertificate as part of the handshaking process, so they were definitely validating it, right?


It Only Crashes When It Works

by in Representative Line on

We already know that Kara’s office has a problem with strings. Kara’s back again, with more string related troubles.

These troubles are a bit worse, once we add in some history. You see, some of their software does machine control. That is to say, it sends commands to some bit of machinery, which then moves or extrudes or does whatever the machine does. Kara wasn’t specific, only granted that this machine was neither large enough or mean enough to kill someone. Minor cuts, burns, scrapes, bruises and damage to the equipment itself is still possible, but nobody will die.


Without Compare

by in CodeSOD on

Operator overloading is a messy prospect. In theory, it means that you can naturally extend a language so that you can operate on objects naturally. An introductory CS class might have students implement a Ratio or Fraction class, then overload arithmetic operators so you can (a + b).reduce().

In practice, it means you use the bitshift operator also as the stream insertion operator. Thanks C++.


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