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moderately geeky  moderately geeky

Case 84

What It Says On The Tin

Wangohan, a monk in Suku’s charge, had struggled for two miserable days to divine the cause of a bug. On the third day, as he stepped slowly through his own source code, Wangohan was illuminated.

With anger in his breast and a code listing in his hand, Wangohan entered the cubicle of a monk named Landhwa. Wangohan slammed the pages down on Landhwa’s desk and jabbed his finger at a variable circled in red.

“There is a variable in this method named completedOrders,” fumed Wangohan. “It was meant to hold orders whose status is COMPLETED: this should be evident from the name alone. Why, then, did you add FAILED orders to it on this line? I had no way of knowing that the variable’s purpose had changed. My latest enhancements have all been in error!

Landhwa yawned and sprinkled some cinnamon on his hotteok. “Creating a separate variable would have complicated my task. And changing the name of the existing variable was not necessary since it still holds completed orders—for the most part.”

Wangohan bowed coldly and went out.

- - -

Later that week, master Suku summoned Wangohan to her chamber.

“The monk Landhwa has been taken ill,” she explained with one eyebrow raised. “Stomach cramps of a most unpleasant nature. The cause is unknown, but Landhwa whispered your name weakly before his last dash to the lavatory.”

Wangohan spread his palms wide. “I have no idea what ails the monk. But in his pantry there is a jar labelled ‘cinnamon’ which I have recently been using to store my own blend of that spice. If he has tasted it, please assure him that it is only cinnamon—for the most part.”

Topics...  naming, refactoring