A Collection of Pearls as Well as Ever Sadder Epitaphs

August 4th, 2018 by Diana Coman

Motto: Gura pacatosului, adevar graieste.

Deep inside the muck that passes for code among the open source tribes, there are pearls left not before the swine but rather plainly after them1. Like any pearls, they are the fruit of pain avoided and postponed, the signs of the beginning of defeat, the ever sadder epitaphs:

//@@@ Dirty, hack, this might be in a diffrent thread
//@@@ need to syncronize this in some way. But at least
//@@@ by moving this here the client code dosn't call
//@@@ SendOut anymore.

Oh, how truthful it starts, for it is indeed dirty and a hack and it "might be" something else "in some way" - that way being of course if only someone else wrote it! "But at least" it's written there and then never read or acted upon again of course, for how else would code be muck and shit accumulate at such tremendous speeds to make all those half a million lines of code?

 // REVERTED 3/8/03 Until I can figure out why this is causing client conencts to fail - Andrew Mann (Rhad)
// If we don't know who this connection is, don't handle ACKs
//if (!connection)
// return false;

It's 2018 and I'm sure he has figured it all out by now, right? The best way to figure things out is by avoiding them. Only for now, only a bit, only in "some way", only temporarily, of course. OF COURSE. And the best way to clean your house is by sweeping the dust under the carpet, don't you know?

// XXX: This is hacky, but we need to send the message to the client
// here and now! Because in the next moment he'll be deleted

"Where there is a need there is a right" or how did it go? The fact that you *need* to send a message in an ill-suited place at the wrong time to an idiot client and so on are ALL signs of problems to be sorted out not reasons for piling the shit higher and higher!

 // TODO: Hack, for now just get the y value and sector from the first point.

There, the great discovery of this year's lazy bums just as lazy as last year's lazy asses: don't do today what you can postpone indefinitely! And if it's on a todo list, then it doesn't need to actually be done! If I write that I'll do it then it's just as good as if I did it and way less work so it's win-win-me, isn't it? Especially since nobody will dare laugh at me for it since that's discrimination and a big no-no and I'll get all upset and they'll hurt my feelings.


This one truly reminds me of a children's story: a granny was once asked how many people were there at the party she had just attended. And she truthfully replied: only 1 person; for there was an old dirty barrel blocking the entrance and everyone got around it except for this last man who actually moved the barrel out of the way and only then got in.

What can I tell you, they used to teach this stuff in kindergarten!

 // Hack to work around the weird sector stuff we do.

This is the very way hacks reproduce until there is nothing left but a big pile of hacks precariously stacked on one another all the way to the moon. The hack because of the hack because of the hack because of the... Just stop hacking already and clean the darned shit from your house, you know? Why do you keep shitting where you eat?

// Special case for string, because we have to specify the namespace
// std::string, which doesn't play nicely with our FLAG__namespace hackery.

Hack and... counter-hack! If hacking breeding more hacking and shit growing up to your eyeballs wasn't already clearly and plainly the only result of this insanity. What does it take for you to stop this stupid approach with the special case for the extraordinary situation of the most unique item on the singularity of shit?

/* hack: if we included OpenSSL's ssl.h, we know about SSL_CTX
* this will of course break if we're included before OpenSSL headers...

You know it's broken but you ... do it anyway? The once inconceivable, the un-human, is that the modern human? Why, just why would anyone do such a thing knowingly?

/** @@@ Hack: please someone tell me how to do this better? */

Perhaps one of the saddest of them all: he is asking, you know? Perhaps in the wrong place, perhaps poorly stated, perhaps at the wrong moment, perhaps even only half-hearted but nevertheless... he asks for some guidance away from the swamps! But who answers, who is there to even read his comments at least if not his code? Of all the thousands pairs of eyes, none even blinks in recognition, not even once and the question remains there unanswered, the hack stays in place, the cry for help goes unheard and unnoticed for there is nobody to hear it. The thousands pairs of eyes stare without seeing anything for they are all little more than painted eyes on painted masks on painted cardboard in the painted world. Pure insanity this brave new world, the very stuff nightmares are made out of.

There truly is no worse loneliness than the loneliness of those trying to be people while lost among the crowds. For crowds are never, ever, people. And more importantly perhaps, out of necessity, crowds will always and invariably choose to mend and make do, just as reflected in all those comments above, never to clear away the rot that is left therefore to accumulate and fester and stink and drown everything. So next time *you* make your choice between the expensive exposure and fix of the rot on one hand and the mend and make do on the other, think perhaps also of that loneliness of the person in the crowd and of what it truly means to be - to become! - only one of the many, many identical pairs of unseeing eyes in the crowd.


  1. Hey, swine have rights too! What are you getting offended about? 

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9 Responses to “A Collection of Pearls as Well as Ever Sadder Epitaphs”

  1. ESL reader might perhaps benefit from the notice that "perle" ie pearls in Romanian has a lengthy tradition in didactic settings as the name of "collections of idiocies produced by students". Just a little bit of typically dry Romanian humour.

    Also, the granny story is Aesop's.

  2. Diana Coman says:

    Right, ESL readers don't have "pearls", huh. Perhaps... droppings?

    And right you are that the story is Aesop's.

  3. In Ru -- "перлы" -- has the same meaning described by MP. (When I think about Perl , the proglang, it is invariably in light of this meaning.)

    The English are stuck with the less-picturesque "student bloopers".

  4. Diana Coman says:

    First time I hear of bloopers - it seems to be indeed the "correct" word but I find it rather... lacking.

    Perl is possibly quite aptly named :D

  5. In fact I suspect the Ro might very well be a Ru calc ; Russian education methods were certainly very influential in post-war Romania.

  6. Diana Coman says:

    Via #trilema and courtesy of Stanislav, I found out that even En leans at least a bit in the right direction with "jewels": http://btcbase.org/log/2018-08-05#1839527

    It might very well be a Ru calc. I suppose that finding it in some older materials would invalidate the theory. But at any rate and for the little that it's worth it's true that I don't really recall it used by older people for instance.

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