Many thanks to Tristan Morris for creating a beautiful illustrated hardcover print edition of the site

moderately geeky  moderately geeky

Case 205

Plural Effusion

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Master Suku and her apprentices had chosen to end the summer in a valley below a great mountain range, conducting code reviews at a minor temple. This they felt would be restful work, reinvigorating them for the long climb ahead. Yet the monks of that temple were infuriatingly negligent. As the days waned, Suku’s patience did also.

One morning Suku entered the cubicle of a particularly obtuse monk and lay a printout across his keyboard.

“Each instance of this class represents a row of the Customers table, is that true?” asked Suku.

“True, true,” said the monk.

“Which means that each instance represents a single customer, does it not?” asked Suku.

“It does,” said the monk, “it does.”

“Yet you named this class Customers instead of Customer,” said Suku. “You also gave the name ‘customers’ to variables which hold a single instance, and ‘getCustomers’ to methods which return a single instance.”

“I did, did I?” asked the monk.

“Yes,” said Suku. “Curiously, you also gave the name ‘customers’ to variables which hold a collection of instances, and ‘getCustomers’ to methods which return a collection.”

“I see,” nodded the monk, furrowing his brow and staring hard at the printout. “I see...”

Suku smiled a tight, unpleasant smile. Had her apprentices been present they would surely have backed away; for it was rumored that their master was part serpent, and if provoked she could unhinge her jaw and swallow a monk whole.

“All that I have said is equally true for the tables Parts and Packages and Purchases, and their associated classes. Which makes your code quite—”

“Consistent,” said the monk proudly. “Consistent.”

What happened in the next moment none can say, but it is certain that the monk was already unconscious by the time he hit the floor.

- - -

The monk awoke in the center of an abandoned barn. His ankle had been chained to a stone meant for tethering bulls.

On the floor beside him lay a pair of scissors, a nasty-looking bundle of tubes bristling with wires and blinking lights, and a note:

Time is short.
Precision is vital.
To disarm these bombs, one must only cut
the topmost red wires.
Topics...  naming, collections