Meredith L. Patterson (maradydd) wrote,
Meredith L. Patterson
maradydd

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A new one for the Jargon File

Anti-hack, n. /'aen-ti-''haek/ A quick-and-dirty change made to code which irrefragably lowers overall functionality rather than increasing it.

(Note that not all changes which remove some functionality are anti-hacks. An emergency hack which makes a system more difficult to use but plugs a security hole that would otherwise jeopardize the system is not an anti-hack if it preserves functionality which would otherwise be lost if the system were breached.)

Coinage: tonight, over dinner, as DelphiGoth explained how some database-connectivity code in a project he tangentially works on has been hardcoded in so that the client must always connect to a specific DB, rather than being able to change DBs on the fly via a .ini file, because developers would forget to change the .ini settings back and end up with users in the field committing lots of production work to a nonexistent testing database. Apparently some managerial type considered the hardcoding a Useful Thing because it prevented this problem, despite the fact that there are far more sensible solutions (e.g., a pane within the client's GUI which displays what DB is specified in the .ini). "That's not a feature -- it's an ugly hack. It's not even a hack, it's an anti-hack!"
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