I have to agree with wog and jptxs. I'm speculating that whoever did this was not aware of any but the most obvious implications. That's hair-raisingly false laziness. Conventions form over time for good reason. Challenging them may lead to better solutions, but one shouldn't do so mindlessly. I often find myself enlightened and sticking to a convention after questioning it even if I thought it really stupid before.
Finally, I think the fact that everyone here disagrees with that code and even you yourself have doubts is a pretty clear indication of its worth.
Makeshifts last the longest.