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

  • Mood:

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!"
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.