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Re: Should I write your code ?

by gmax (Abbot)
on Mar 16, 2002 at 13:51 UTC ( #152185=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Should I write your code ?

Very well said, ChOas.
I saw such node yesterday, and I realized what was happening. You quoted the code that was given in the request, just fixing the most obvious thing but retaining the design faults, for which you got the blame.
I fully understand your feelings.
I always have the same doubts when answering questions. Either I point out the flaw, without code (missing this, double that, etc) or I recode using my style. At least, if I get the blame, I am blamed for something I have done.

Sometimes, though, the code given is just too much and I can't recode everything. In these cases, I list my assumptions ("provided that you are reading from STDIN and using strict and your data is not bigger than ...") and provide an "untested" snippet.
As for taking over the script, as you ask, I try not to do it, unless the problem is very clearly defined and no side effects are in sight. Modifying other people scripts can lead to cargo cult problems1. If the user misunderstands what you've done, he/she will get into trouble and then once again you will be blamed.
If I can't give a clear solution, because the original code has more problems than the author is asking me to fix, then my usual choice is to provide a sample script. Something that works, that runs smoothly, gives results and addresses the main problem only. Therefore, you can't cut-and-paste into your script if you don't undestand it. In this context I am free of using my code style, giving some explanations when I feel that something could be difficult to get.
My purpose in writing an answer to a SOPW request is to give something useful, avoiding to get the user in more trouble than she/he was in before asking.
Thanks for this interesting insight!

1See also voodoo programming
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[erix]: Ah, I found the link for my run: 6km (and 6km back)
[perldigious]: Also, made the unhappy discovery that the ticks have become active already this year... I really, really hate ticks.
[Lotus1]: perldigious I found out recently that opossums are very good at killing ticks.
Your Mother is lucky to only have to carry a kayak 15 feet to put in.
[perldigious]: If I was given the option to remove either mosquitos or ticks from the world... I think I'd pick ticks, even though I'd guess most would go the other way.
[Lotus1]: when they grooms themselves they eat any ticks they find. and apparently lots of ticks latch onto opossums.
[Your Mother]: There is a nice looking—don’t know first hand—new tool being market for removing ticks.
[Your Mother]: (marketed)
[Lotus1]: at least ticks don't fly
[1nickt]: We have a new tick in cenral New Jersey this year. The Lone Star tick -- no Lyme, but will give you an allergy to red meat!

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