Reply to post: My favourite typos

This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs

Graham Bartlett

My favourite typos

I literally don't know how many times I've mistyped "bugger" instead of "buffer". Mostly I catch them. Occasionally they make it through to code review. I've only once had it get out to customer code though.

My most annoying one though was at a company who were subcontracted to Ford in the early 2000s. Ford had coding standards which had been set sometime in the mid-80s and never really tweaked. The result was that we were limited to 16-character variable and function names. By the end we'd found that Ford engineers were breaking this rule with impunity so we stopped worrying about it, but at the start we had to stick with it because we were under the microscope a bit. This was harder for us, because every variable had to start with the name of the module (in my case "ipc_") and our double-stored variables (this was safety-related so we needed to detect data corruption) were suffixed "_ds". This left 9 significant characters, so abbreviation was a fact of life.

Where this went wrong was that one engineer with a fairly loose sense of humour decided to abbreviate "done" to "dun" to save one character in the variable name. We were doing silly hours, so at the time we all thought "hey, it's quirky, we'll keep it". Two years down the line, when I was having to do presentations on how to integrate our code with Ford engineers and their managers and their managers' managers, and the codebase was locked down and couldn't be changed, the joke looked a bit less clever.

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