Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Local dialect

A bit of jargon from Russian developers, to lighten the mood a bit:

“Batman” - a memory corruption bug. From: “The goddamned Batman flew in and shat into the memory!”.

“Speedy Gonzalez” - a race condition bug, when process is “too fast” in reaching a certain point of code.

“Mount becomes hungry” - a situation where some action produces bug in completely unrelated piece of code. From a bug report where player’s mount became hungry after player sold something in auction house.

“Samurai Code” (also “Tough Code”) - A true Samurai is not afraid of death, and so is this code. It never checks anything and will crash if you pass it a wrong combination of parameters.

“Guerrilla Code” - A guerrilla fighter tries to protect his comrades to the end. This code tries to cover up a serious mistake. It does not handle it correctly, but make it so you will only discover it much
later, in a different module, where all context already disappeared.

“Ninja Code” - A code added to a module owned by another programmer without notifying owner, which drastically changes module’s behavior. Bonus points for making it only execute in very special circumstances which will only come up a few weeks later.

“‘Retarded Child’ architectural pattern” - A sub-system which can’t report error and can’t correctly handle it (for example, I once worked with a database connection which didn’t have any way to access error code or description for a query, and didn’t log it, but just returned general ERROR status to you, so you could only discern nature of error by setting breakpoint inside that connection’s code, which was in another library)

“Epic game development” - A development process where a lot of important information (location of critical resources, build-in cheat codes, status of some sub-systems) never gets written down, but instead is passed by the word of mouth from developer to developer, like a folk tale. Most game development in Russia is Epic.