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Satan, Britney Spears Top Paris Hilton In OSS References 182

Posted by timothy
from the knuth-beats-satan dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Krugle, a software search company, had some time on its hands — it compared frequency of mentions in open source code of presidential candidates, Beelzebub and yes, Britney Spears." I wish they'd link to a nice long list of the other terms this revealed — there are probably a lot of subtler funny references and asides.
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Satan, Britney Spears Top Paris Hilton In OSS References

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  • Abbreviation: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:18AM (#23312436) Homepage Journal
    Would 'BS' count as a reference to Ms. Spears? Just asking.
  • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:20AM (#23312464)
    I've never included random crap like that in my code... even in college when I was pulling all nighters. Why on earth would I want to have to reference the ParisHilton class? and how would that be helpful to other developers? This is silliness.
    • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:25AM (#23312540) Homepage Journal
      That class will show its privates to just about anyone who asks!
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:29AM (#23312578) Homepage

      I've never included random crap like that in my code... even in college when I was pulling all nighters. Why on earth would I want to have to reference the ParisHilton class? and how would that be helpful to other developers? This is silliness.

      I was thinking the same thing.

      But, I guess when some people are coding they like to inject a little bit of silliness or vent their anger.

      I once worked on a project where we were explicitly told our comments couldn't have profanity or other non-PC things in them. Apparently, one time during a customer-required code walkthrough, the developer had littered their code with all sorts of insulting things about the customers and their requirements out of frustration with tight timelines and bad specs. It caused quite a stir. Thereafter, they made sure all developers understood that such things would not be tolerated.

      Me, I just couldn't fathom why I'd want to waste time putting vitriol into my code and comments. I need the comments to explain to me what I'm doing and why so that 2 months from now I know what I'd been trying to do.

      However, having maintained a few legacy code-bases in my day, you'd be astonished what people actually do put into comments. I've seen some downright bizarre things, ranging from slagging the product to slagging people. Heck, I saw a haiku once, and it actually explained the function quite well.

      I suspect a lot of OSS coders have a different view about what to put into their code and have lots of time on their hands to do it in.

      Cheers
      • by SQLGuru (980662)
        Exactly. I save my useless comments for places like Slashdot. :D

        I have written "lengthy" comments about how much of a hack something was or references to better ways of doing something, but none of them ever needed to reference Satan (maybe sacraficing live chickens, but never pacts with the devil).

        Layne
        • by Cheesey (70139)
          I wouldn't reference Satan directly in my code, but if I need to pick an arbitrary integer constant for something, it's going to be 666. Possibly disguised as 0x29a or 01232. I can't resist an opportunity to annoy people who take Revelations seriously.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by operagost (62405)
            The only thing that annoys me is calling Revelation "Revelations". It's one vision revealed to John the Evangelist.
      • by Briden (1003105)
        what i'd like to know is, were these things discovered in comments, or actual code?

        i've used some amusing code like:
        itBroke = true;
        but that still communicates something useful to me, (it indicates an unrecoverable error condition)

        plus then i could write:
        (itBroke) ? fixIt() : dontFixIt(); //(if it ain't broke don't fix it)

        naming a class HillaryClinton is just ridiculous. I wonder if there are variables named intCheatCount in the diebold software?

        currently i am working on a section of code littered with ninj
      • But, I guess when some people are coding they like to inject a little bit of silliness or vent their anger.

        Apparently, one time during a customer-required code walkthrough, the developer had littered their code with all sorts of insulting things about the customers and their requirements out of frustration with tight timelines and bad specs.

        I've always said to myself that when I start thinking of my customers this way, I'll stop coding for them. It's not worth the neurosis.

        • by gstoddart (321705)

          "Apparently, one time during a customer-required code walkthrough, the developer had littered their code with all sorts of insulting things about the customers and their requirements out of frustration with tight timelines and bad specs."

          I've always said to myself that when I start thinking of my customers this way, I'll stop coding for them. It's not worth the neurosis.

          Well, I gather this particular developer was a little high string at the best of times.

          So it's tough to say if this particular project was

      • by techpawn (969834) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @12:05PM (#23313058) Journal
        In one of my early programming classes my professor had a minimum length for hard copy code to be turned in. Let's just say my code worked, but my hard copy was too short. Rather than muck my code with unneeded calls and the like I did a lengthy comment about how I believed CS finding the most direct solution to problems even at the risk of upsetting the client.

        The code got an A with the added comment from the Prof that the minimum hard copy length requirement for first years would be going away after this.
      • by spikedvodka (188722) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @12:06PM (#23313080)
        honestly though... I'm a big fan of "//Magic happens here"
        • Nah, the real fun is:

          ... // why does this work??

          Very confidence-inspiring.

      • But, I guess when some people are coding they like to inject a little bit of silliness or vent their anger.

        Silliness is sometimes fun.

        I once coded all the error messages in one particular custom app in Scottish accents.

        "Ye cannae click thayre Jimmy! What're ye thinkin?"

      • by Valdrax (32670)

        Me, I just couldn't fathom why I'd want to waste time putting vitriol into my code and comments. I need the comments to explain to me what I'm doing and why so that 2 months from now I know what I'd been trying to do.

        See, that's actually *why* I put vitriol and sarcasm into some of my comments. If it caused me horrible frustration the first time I had to work with it, then I should be reminded of that later. Especially because that emotional trigger will bring the memories back faster.

        Bonus points if you think the person who originally wrote the code you spent two days deciphering will get to see it.

        Equally fun though if they've left the company, and everyone who comes after you will be going through the same process

    • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:40AM (#23312724)
      Why on earth would I want to have to reference the ParisHilton class? and how would that be helpful to other developers? This is silliness.

      I think the reason why so many open source projects have odd comments or funny comments is that its being made by people who aren't being paid and don't have a manager breathing down their necks so they'll use whatever they'd like at the time. Personally I think comments are the best part of open source code.

      My fav so far:

      /* DRUNK. FIX LATER */


      Source and some more amusing comments. [everything2.com]

      • And some times during all nighters we get bored so we spice up our comments and code to keep us entertained. Here's something from my young and stupid days:

        //unset stuff that doesn't need to be going into the mysql db.
        foreach(array('submit', 'table', ....) as $evil) {
        // unset each evil field.
        // depending on evilness, may have to call on priest();
        unset($_POST[$evil]);
        }
        • And some times during all nighters we get bored so we spice up our comments and code to keep us entertained.

          One of the "best" comments I made in my code was, "//WARNING: DO NOT DELETE THIS!" above a section that upon close inspection did absolutely nothing of consequence (although it did set a global variable somewhere. Looking for when it was used, it looked like it was always set to something else before the value was actually used, so setting the value at that point made no sense). Not remembering when or why I put that there, I tried commenting that section out and testing the program to see if anything

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by metlin (258108)
        At my previous company, we were part of an R&D lab, so most folks had PhDs or graduate degrees in one form or another.

        Anyway, every once in a while people would leave physics equations in the comments section of checked in code or documents. Once late at night, I was working on an architecture document that needed some major changes. So, I left a comment along the lines of, "Architecture changes complete. $change 1. $change 2. $change 3 etc. Also did $foobar, $foobar, $foobar. Also discovered warp drive
      • by russotto (537200)

        I think the reason why so many open source projects have odd comments or funny comments is that its being made by people who aren't being paid and don't have a manager breathing down their necks so they'll use whatever they'd like at the time.

        Some of my closed source code has comments like "evil hack", or " made me do this". Probably a few reference Satan. And I'm pretty sure I've ended comments about fixes for nasty race conditions with "I blame George Bush". I have an informal policy of not including a

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Personally I think comments are the best part of open source code.
        They're a good part of closed source as well. They tend to not be as sophomoric as college assignments, but there can be some interesting stuff. I read the microfiche of a major operating system a long time ago, and a comment at the start of the widely-used mail system said "I wrote this to learn how to program".

        (you kids on my lawn can look up "microfiche" in your Funk and Wagnall's)
      • by SL Baur (19540)

        I think the reason why so many open source projects have odd comments or funny comments is that its being made by people who aren't being paid and don't have a manager breathing down their necks so they'll use whatever they'd like at the time.

        That isn't true, at least in my own case. I like to put in colorful comments on occasion because I view source code as something to be read by other programmers. Example (which works around a very wierd Stallmanism):

        ;; We must destroy this buffer in order to save it!
        (kill-buffer (current-buffer))

        My favorite example that I've run across in other people's code was in the System V days in, I think, /usr/include/sys/vm.h. It contained some swapping constants where the defaults were explained economically by using then-current prices for VAX 11 memory cards. I think this originally cam

    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:44AM (#23312780) Homepage Journal
      If you do a search on Krugle, you'll find that most of the references are in database files, not code. e.g. Public figures tend to show up in example data files. There were quite a few Clinton jokes back in the day, so Hillary shows up in a number of files. Paris Hilton is a common "adult" keyword, so you'll notice .htaccess files restricting it.

      Here are a few examples:

      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Hillary%20Clinton [krugle.org]
      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Paris%20Hilton [krugle.org]
      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Barack%20Obama [krugle.org]
      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Tooth%20fairy [krugle.org]

      Even if you search for just code files, you sometimes find data inlined into a unit test:

      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Tooth%20fairy&lang=java [krugle.org]
      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Hillary%20Clinton&lang=java [krugle.org]
      http://www.krugle.org/kse/files?query=Paris%20Hilton&lang=java [krugle.org]

      So there you go. A whole lot of non-news. :-)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Thanks for posting some links; I skimmed TFA and didn't see anything other than "zomg people reference famous people in their code, and somebody did a search for it, PONIES!!!1" and was going to judge the article/topic a WOMFT.

        You'd think they could have included some sample search links in the article, no? Searching for "fuck" in Linux code turns up more entertaining stuff if I recall correctly. Actually, seaching for "fuck" in Krugle is more entertaining than Satan:

        "Fuck GNOME!"
        "public class FuckNut"
        "fo
    • Well, by reading the article and looking at the code, it actually all looks boringly sensible. Looking up "Britney Spears", it is used in a few comments as an example of a name, included in a few filter lists. Nothing exciting at all really unfortunately.
    • by ari_j (90255) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:55AM (#23312926)
      Often, such things come from frustration or from humor starvation. One time, in a programming competition during college, we were required to do our work in Visual Studio. We implemented a sort routine and knew not to call it sort(), so we called it mysort(), which also turned out to be taken by MS. Out of frustration with the clock counting down, I gave it a name that I knew would not have any conflicts: myfuckingsort().

      I figured I was in the clear, because the competition administrators and judges had told us that they do not read the code, they just run the program and check for correct output. However, they did quietly talk to us after we received our prize for winning the competition. Apparently, while they don't read the code as part of the competition, they do skim it out of curiosity sometimes.

      For the remainder of my C.S. career, I was notorious for having invented the by-then-shortened "fucksort" routine. It still comes up in conversation from time to time.
      • I think a search for the word "fuck" would prove far more enlightening.

        In fact, I remember doing that on the kernel code awhile back. My favorite result was "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw..." at the beginning of a gigantic header file full of mappings of PCI ids to product names.

        I remember looking at the thousands of #define statements and reflecting on how accurate it was. You really had to see it...

        Fortunately for all of us, it's long gone, and that mapping now lives in the userspace pciutils.
    • by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @12:05PM (#23313064) Journal
      <boring nostalgic story>
      I once wanted to name an module in some fortran code 'data', but, of course, that's a protected word, so I called it 'brentSpiner' instead. I don't think my supervisor watched star trek though, so he didn't really get the joke.
      </boring nostalgic story>
    • by Hatta (162192)
      That's the first time I've ever seen "Paris Hilton" and "class" in the same sentence. At least without a "has no" in between.
    • by QuasiEvil (74356)
      For me, it depends on whether it's personal or professional code, or something in between.

      My professional code is usually well documented and no bizarre comments. The worst you usually get is "FIXME - (reason)" or "Ugly Hack" The reason being that, while I've been its sole maintainer for years, somebody will eventually take over this job and will need to understand how all of the business rules weave themselves through the library. Plus, it's what's expected of a professional developer. (I will admit th
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I've never included random crap like that in my code... even in college when I was pulling all nighters.
      They only said they were searching open source code, not necessarily good open source code.
    • Why on earth would I want to have to reference the ParisHilton class? and how would that be helpful to other developers? This is silliness.
      Good on you. Pray that you never see production code with a higher-order function (taking a function that takes a function and returns a function, and returning a function) named "ThisIsAVeryFunnyMethod". Coincidentially, it was a static method in a class named "HeavyMetalIsCool".
  • *snicker* (Score:5, Funny)

    by krinderlin (1212738) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:21AM (#23312476)
    A friend of mine got a call a few days ago from an old job of his doing some Access application development (*pukes*). Apparently they didn't appreciate the fact that the code was littered with references to the Spanish Inquisition, Spam, Grail Shaped Beacons, and so on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:21AM (#23312490)
    My Favorite comment came from the DEC PDP-11 Fortran compiler. After searching extensively for a bug in our code, we managed to get the compiler source, and at the location where our code imploded, the compiler author had inserted the comment,

    "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:23AM (#23312514) Homepage Journal

    Satan I can understand (BSD Devil, references to the Beast from Redmond, Chipzilla, etc), but Britney Speares? That's EVIL!

    • by zappepcs (820751)
      Well, the major datum contributing to the listing of satan and spears is their soon to be well known contractual obligations to one another.

      Apparently satan has refused to uphold his part of the deal in as much as she has yet to have a successful singing career.

      I'm certain that the **AA lawyers are all invited to the gallery for this trial. DAMN, I tried to spell that gallows but for *some* reason my fingers just couldn't type it????
    • Satan I can understand (BSD Devil, references to the Beast from Redmond, Chipzilla, etc), but Britney Speares? That's EVIL!

      Joking aside, there are a few projects that use SATAN as an acronym which would pad out the numbers quite a bit:

      • Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks
      • Signal Applications To Audio Networks

  • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:29AM (#23312592) Homepage Journal
    The fact that Hillary Clinton outstrips McCain and Obama should come as no surprise. She spent 8 years in the public eye, back when no one had even heard of the other two candidates. Expressing surprise that she is 'in the lead' as it were, is just silly.
    • by Holi (250190)
      I think McCain has been in the public eye a little longer than Mrs. Clinton, considering he's been a US Senator since 1986.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by fprintf (82740)
        And was a POW in Vietnam for several years, refusing to come home before other prisoners. The guy was a hero, all over the newspapers way back then. Not that it means much to modern day programmers (most likely demographic for OSS contributors) who weren't around or paying attention to such news in the early 70s.
      • Just because he's a senator doesn't mean that he's managed to stay in the public eye. He's managed to stay a public figure, but for the most part he's been ignored by the public at large.

        Just try doing a search on Clinton jokes vs. McCain jokes. You'll get a LOT more Clinton jokes. (Most of which are based on the idea that it was Hillary running the Presidency, not Bill.)
        • Many of the talking heads and hate-radio personalities get a good response from hating on Hillary. They've been doing it ever since Clinton got roped into an impeachment for a non-issue. Ooooo...so he didn't run the government improperly but he did cheat on his wife and lied about it under oath! Oooooh!

          I know they think that McCain can beat HillDawg more easily than he could beat Obama...but I'm not sure why.
    • I'm curious what the Ron Paul love among developers and code is.
  • by towelie-ban (1234530) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:33AM (#23312640)
    Those are just synonyms, right?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Back in 1981, scientists thought it would be SUCH a great idea to do a Liza Minnelli/Bo Derek clone. And I warned those scientists about their family histories of mental problems, alcoholism, etc. But they were all like "No, look at how funny Liza is in Arthur, wouldn't it be great to combine her talent with big tits and blonde hair?" And, at first, I thought "Well okay, she could sing and she would be hot. That might just work."

      And that is how I became one of the monsters that created Britney Spears.

      It

  • by Thelasko (1196535) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:38AM (#23312714) Journal
    Tipper Gore and the Parents Software Resource Center [wikipedia.org] are going to petition congress to ban open source software because the source code is explicit. The end result will be a warning label on all open source software available on the internet.

    end sarcasm
    • Well, good! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FatSean (18753) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @12:37PM (#23313482) Homepage Journal
      There is a large stack of evidence showing that warning labels don't work, and may in fact inspire more people to try the thing being warned against.

      More developers is a good thing.
      • by evanbd (210358)

        I have here a package of razor blades. "50 single edge #9 razor blades," it says in large print on the front. On the side, it reads "Warning: razor sharp blades."

        I think warning labels have gotten excessive.

    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      That's not funny! Hans Riser killed his wife because the source code told him to do it. We have censor the source code to prevent these acts of violence from happening again!
      • by Thelasko (1196535)
        the PSRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretational and enforcemental problems inherent in the proposal's design.
  • ... is a very useful regex to find problems and workarounds with (3rd party) frameworks and libraries
  • What, no examples? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:43AM (#23312772)
    The "article" (if you can call it that) shows neither neither charts of actual numbers, nore places the uses in context (with or without examples). Good grief.
    • Yeah, sucky article. I used krugle to search for Britney Spears myself and was actually quite disappointed. I was hoping to her name to appear in comments like:

      // This code is more fscked up than Britney Spears
      Instead, she just appears as a canonical example in database entries and spelling lookup examples.
  • Hee! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:43AM (#23312778) Homepage Journal
    Whenever I use a switch statement, I'm compelled to name its variable "jimmysmits." This results in the statement "switch(jimmysmits)", and never fails to make me chuckle.

    ...too obscure? [wikipedia.org]
    • Whenever I'm configuring a Cisco router for PAT, I have a similar compulsion to name the NAT pool "frustration" so that when I go to execute the command for PAT it will end with "frustration overload". I have done this on occasion. It all goes back to my days in the Networking Academy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by cbart387 (1192883)
      A little offtopic but related ... for an infinite loop in C

      #define EVER ;;
      for(EVER){
      ...
      }
    • by SQLGuru (980662)
      Totally unrelated, but right after reading this post, I got an e-mail from the animal shelter I volunteer at....here are the cats adopted yesterday:

      ID Kennel # Outcome Type Animal Name Weight
      CAT A496283 AB - 05 ADOPTION RABBIT 6.5
      CAT A503957 AB - 27 ADOPTION BEAUREGARD 8.75
      CAT A505787 AB - 28 ADOPTION JIMMY SMITS 2.5
      CAT A507051 ISO 1 - 15 ADOPTION OREO 6.25
      CAT A507677 AB - 30 ADOPTION COCONUT 9
      CAT A507806 CONDO ADOPTION BANDIT 2.25
      CAT A507808 CONDO ADOPTION FELICITY 2.00
      CAT A507807 CONDO ADOPTION FIONA 2.25
      • by Muad'Dave (255648)
        CAT A507051 ISO 1 - 15 ADOPTION OREO 6.25

        Cool!!! An ISO-standard cat!

        What are ISO standards 1 thru 15, anyway?

        1. "Proper Method for Furniture Destruction by Willful Application of Claws"
        2. "Method for Waste Burial in an Attapulgite Clay Medium"
        3. "Procedure for Maximal Shedding, and Subsequent Hairball Production"
        4. "Hairball Trajectory Management"
        5. "Proper Method for control of Insect and Bird Population, with Emphasis on Proper Placement on Owner's Pillow"

        Need I go on?

        • by SQLGuru (980662)
          In this case, it's ISOlation.....the cat was recovering (possibly from being "fixed").

          Layne
  • Knuth is on the list. That said, he appears in my code, without me making wierd references or easter-eggy comments.

    //Implementation of Knuth's foo algorithm.
    //See TAOCP Vol 3, Page ??
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @11:46AM (#23312806) Homepage
    The summary suggests that they measured the frequency of mentions of these terms in the source code - the article seems to suggest that they measured the terms searched for using the Krugle search engine. The former would be interesting, the latter would not.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @12:22PM (#23313286)
    Paris Hilton - Hail, it's porn!

    Britney Spears - Prissy bra teen

  • by DarkOx (621550)
    cout is for printing a line to the stdout, its like simpler printf. Its not a misspent reference to part of Britney's anatomy. Seriously these noob coders...
  • I definitely do it in my SVN comments, since I know it's just going to be seen by the other devs.

    Like this little gem from today:

    "Updated to handle duplicate codes. May the gods have mercy on my soul."

    Needless to say, my solution was determined more by deadline than by elegance...
  • I searched for "bismillah", "inshallah", "alhamdulillah".

    Not many hits, but I am glad some brothers remember Allah when coding... Alhamdulillah.
  • Way back in college, a review of a friend's OS class project code revealed the following line in a long list of, otherwise seriously documented, task scheduler variable declarations:

    unsigned int slice; /* A new fruit-flavored drink. */

    [ And, this guy finished his semester project over a weekend. ]

  • by tinkerton (199273) on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @02:18PM (#23314802)
    the list of commonly used passwords?
  • I found a comment in my codebase that said something like "All i want to do is dance, dance, dance". I couldn't remember if i wrote it or my coworker... it was probably her seeing how i hate dancing. The code was about 4 years old.

    another one said "FIX ME BAD" i'm pretty sure i wrote that one heh
  • by refactored (260886) <cyentNO@SPAMxnet.co.nz> on Tuesday May 06, 2008 @05:07PM (#23317254) Homepage Journal
    My Java library path variable is called binks.

    It's the place I store all my jarjars.

    (Ooo, thats going to cost me! Don't you just love the smell of karma burning in the morning...)

  • Maybe ParisHilton is an abstract interface that has no class? I'm curious how many developers have actually used variables called foo and bar in live code (apart from cut/paste jobs from programming texts).

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