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Re^5: Burned by precedence rules (fail() if "false";)

by tye (Sage)
on Dec 28, 2008 at 21:06 UTC ( #732930=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^4: Burned by precedence rules (== true)
in thread Burned by precedence rules

Wow, defining your FALSE constant to a value that isn't actually false is such an amazingly bad idea that I never even considered it. Yes, don't define Boolean constants that completely defy your language's concept of "true" or "false". Duh! :) Thanks for mentioning that.

- tye        

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Re^6: Burned by precedence rules (fail() if "false";)
by gwadej (Chaplain) on Dec 28, 2008 at 21:22 UTC

    I have often said that I have learned as much from the really bad code that I have maintained as I have from the really good code I have maintained. (That applies to both my code and other people's code.)

    If a value of FALSE that is not false doesn't scare you enough, I won't tell you what I found FOUR defined as...<grin/>

    G. Wade

      I still have to say that my favorite maintenance horror is the block that had (including comments) the $language equivalent of

      $x = 1; $x = 1; # Just to be sure



        Some folks (i'm talking about you MidLifeXis) just don't understand humor :)

      No doubt it was originally defined as FOUR = 4, but then somebody was told to change it to 42 or π. This is why I tend to avoid setting constants like THREE = 3. I find it rather annoying to have constants with clear names that lie. After all, complex code is self-obfuscating; it doesn't need any help.

      Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

        Something like that.

        This is why I started using the term magic constants a few years ago to complement magic literals. Everybody agrees that magic literals in code are a bad idea. But, what happens when the constant you chose to replace is with provides no more meaning or abstraction...magic constant.

        A constant like FOUR provides so little information that it would have been better to leave the original literal 4 in the code.

        G. Wade

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