Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!

tcc-case-title
extremely geeky  extremely geeky

Case 178

Unity

A nasty stomach flu had been making its way through the Temple. Fully half the Spider Clan had fallen victim, so to meet deadlines the monk Wangohan had been forced to team with his longtime nemesis, the monk Landhwa.

To avoid conflicts that might lead to yet another incapacitated developer, their newly appointed master-in-training Zjing decided that they should work in separate shifts—Landhwa by day, Wangohan by night.

“Finally,” said Zjing on the videoconferencing monitor, “we cannot risk delays caused by arguments over coding style. But neither do I wish to have two separate styles in one application. Therefore, as Wangohan is new to this project, he will follow Landhwa’s style as precisely as possible.”

Wangohan bowed his assent and took his leave to rest before the night’s work.

- - -

When night fell, Wangohan began to familiarize himself with Landhwa’s source code. He was pleased to see that there were no magic literals, but pleasure turned to horror when he discovered that every constant in the application—regardless of purpose—had been declared in a single, huge, uncommented Constants.java file:

   ...
   public static final String HELP = "HELP";
   public static final String HELP2 = "Need help?";
   public static final String HELPU = "/help";
   public static final String HELPTA = "{{help}}";
   public static final String HELPTB = "${help}";
   public static final String HTTP = "HTTP";
   public static final String HTTPU = "http://";
   public static final String HTTPS = "https";
   ...

Wangohan was about to refactor the file when he remembered Zjing’s decree. Not wishing to disrespect the nascent authority of his longtime friend, Wangohan lifted his fingers from the keyboard and scowled at the monitor for a long time.

- - -

In the morning, Landhwa found a message waiting for him from Wangohan:

All has been coded according to your example.

Landhwa pulled the latest changes from the repository and found that nearly every source file had disappeared. Only two remained. The first Landhwa recognized; the second was but a few hours old:

    Constants.java            48K
    Code.java               8090K