When Good Dev Tools Go Bad

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"I'd say that this brings new meaning to what a 'core dump' really is," Paul N. writes.


ByteBool

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Tony Hoare has called null references his “billion dollar mistake”. Dealing with nulls and their consequences have created a large number of bugs, and eaten a lot of developer time. It’s certainly bad enough when you understand nulls and why they exist, but Benjamin Soddy inherited code from someone who absolutely didn’t.

First, there’s our new type, the ByteBool:


When Computers Fly

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In the Before Times, the Ancients would gather in well-sheltered caverns, gather to themselves foods blessed by the gods, drink strange, unnaturally colored concoctions, and perform the Rite of the LAN Party.

In the era when the Internet was accessed by modem, to have any hope of playing a game with usable latency, you had to get all the players in the same place. This meant packing up your desktop in a car, driving to your friend’s house, and setting up your computer on whatever horizontal surface hadn’t already been claimed by another guest.


The Wrong Sacrifice

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pentacle




Folks, you need to choose a different sacrificial animal for your multithreading issues. Thanks to this comment Edward found in a stubborn bit of Java code, we now know the programming gods won't take our goats.


What Equals Equals

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Lemon velvet pudding

Monday morning, 10:00AM. As per usual, today's protagonist, Merv, got some coffee and settled in for his usual Monday morning routine of checking Facebook and trying to drag his brain into some semblance of gear. As he waited, the least interesting conversation ever floated to his ears from the hallway:


Would You Mind?

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"Since clicking 'Yes, I mind', took me to the review page, I left a one star review," writes Pascal.


All You Zombies…

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We've all been approached for jobs where the job description was merely an endless list of buzzwords across disciplines, and there was no real way to figure out what was actually the top couple of relevant skills. The head hunter is usually of no help as they're rarely tech-savvy enough to understand what the buzzwords mean. The phone screen is often misleading as they always say that one or two skills are the important ones, and then reject candidates because they don't have expertise in some ancillary skill.

A sign, dated March 9, 1982, welcoming travelers from the future

Teddy applied for a position at a firm that started out as a telco but morphed into a business service provider. The job was advertised as looking for people with at least 15-20 years of experience in designing complex systems, and Java programming. The phone screen confirmed the advert and claims of the head hunter. "This is a really great opportunity," the head hunter proclaimed.


print_a_idiot()

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Cédric runs the backend for a video streaming service. Since video streaming, even in modern HTML5, is still a bit of a mess, they have to be able to provide many different stream formats. So, for example, the JSON data might look like this:

{"DASH":"https:\/\/anonymised-wtfdash.akamaihd.invalid\/path\/to\/film.mpd",
"HLS":"https:\/\/anonymised-wtfhls.akamaihd.invalid\/path\/to\/film.mp4\/master.m3u8",
"PD":"https:\/\/anonymised-wtfpd.akamaihd.invalid\/path\/to\/film.mp4"}

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