• UndercoverUlrikHD@programming.dev
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    9 months ago

    Is it really tempting for people? They’ve given me too many headaches when I’ve had to reformat or add functionality to files.

    Unless it’s a simple single use script that fit on the computer screen, I don’t feel like global variables would ever be tempting, unless it’s for constants.

    • PetDinosaurs@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      Most people suck at software engineering.

      Plus, there’s always the temptation to do it the shitty way and “fix it later” (which never happens).

      You pay your technical debt. One way or another.

      It’s way worse than any gangster.

      • rodolfo@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        amen

        Plus, there’s always the temptation to do it the shitty way and “fix it later”

        double amen

              • decerian@lemmy.world
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                9 months ago

                Why is that weirder? The people writing scientific software are, by and large, less good at writing software than people who only specialize in software development. I’d expect there to tons of terrible engineering practices in an old code base like that

                • PetDinosaurs@lemmy.world
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                  9 months ago

                  good question.

                  Because even trivial things like Fourier transforms (to people like me) are very difficult to understand to those that don’t know them. They took me years to understand. Non scientific software engineers do not understand those. It’s just a different course of education.

                  You’re also right about old code base as well. Algorithms like these belong in c++ (or C or fortran), and it’s extremely difficult to explain why to people who have no understanding of numerical computing.

                  It’s just different education.

          • rodolfo@lemmy.world
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            9 months ago

            I wish I was so lucky to have comments.

            in real life, I’m fighting with - I’m not joking - a few dozen “quick patches”. code does not reflect in any point functional requirements, and dude is adamant he’s in the right and supersarcastic in any occasion.

            • PetDinosaurs@lemmy.world
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              9 months ago

              I’ve been working at my current company for almost a year.

              I had no idea it could be this bad.

              I actually had to fight/plead with someone to “please read the code”. Guy did get fired though.

      • FlickOfTheBean@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        Rarely have I ever actually had consequences for my sins, which tends to be why I don’t go back and fix them…

        If tech debt weight is felt in any way, it tends to get fixed. If it’s not felt, it’s just incredibly easy to forget and disregard.

        (This is mostly me not learning my lesson well enough from my time being on Tech Debt: The Team. I do try and figure out the correct way to do things, but at the end of the day, I get paid to do what the boss wants as cheaply as possible, not what’s right :/ money dgaf about best practices until someone gets sued for malpractice, but on that logic, maybe the tech debt piper just hasn’t returned for payment from me yet… Only time will tell)

          • FlickOfTheBean@lemmy.world
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            9 months ago

            Ah yeah, that would be a worry, except I forgot to mention that most of the code I work on usually gets thrown away after like 6 months. Makes tech debt not have nearly as big of an impact on me.

            We do have a longer lasting code base that the little widgets I make run off of. That has a much more strict requirements to ensure tech debt is not introduced specifically so we don’t end up in that sort of a position.

            That said, and yet we couldn’t even keep it out of our own code base. So yeah, I think my original comment is just wrong because I forgot all the ways tech debt actually has effected me in the past and how my industry’s project cycle is so short term that i rarely have the opportunity to run into tech debt that I caused in a problematic way…

            • magic_lobster_party@kbin.social
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              9 months ago

              That make sense. Most industry best practices are there to prevent problems that arises when code is evolving over a long period of time.

              • FlickOfTheBean@lemmy.world
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                9 months ago

                Yeah, that makes total sense.

                Most software engineers also have to actively maintain and add features to their finished project, and those aspects change a lot about how the problem can be approached.

                I failed to take into account why might I have not been effected by tech debt despite occasionally creating it before commenting. Will have to make sure that filter gets a bit stronger lol

          • FlickOfTheBean@lemmy.world
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            9 months ago

            Fair point, I work in a consumer facing, fast turn around, short lived code project industry. Not a typical software project with long life cycles.

            These practices would almost certainly bite my company in the ass if we had to maintain anything for longer than year.

            Occasionally, we do have to support a client for multiple years, and everytime it’s a hilarious shit show trying to figure out how to keep all the project dependencies up to date. This is likely platform tech debt, and would be the beginning of the problem if we didn’t have the privilege of being able to start over from scratch code-wise for each client’s new order.

            I guess I’m just in a lucky spot in the programmer pool where tech debt literally doesn’t hit me as hard as it usually does others, and I just couldn’t identify that before now lol

            Instead of saying tech debt isn’t that bad, my tune will change to something else. Like I said, I was on a team at one point that had a worse than usual tech debt problem, and it was unworkably stressful to deal with. Im guessing that experience is more typical of being near tech debt than my other experiences.

            • PetDinosaurs@lemmy.world
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              9 months ago

              Good on you for acknowledging that. 👍

              I’ve fixed 20 year old issues that could kill people.

              Different requirements. Different solutions.

              That’s why it’s great to be an engineer!

      • manapropos@lemmy.basedcount.com
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        9 months ago

        If you’re smart you do it the quick and easy way and leave the company before it bites you in the ass. Only suckers stay with the same company for more than a few years

    • yiliu@informis.land
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      9 months ago

      They’ve given me too many headaches…

      I.e. you did use them, but learned the hard way why you shouldn’t.

      Very likely OP is a student, or entry-level programmer, and is avoiding them because they were told to, and just haven’t done enough refactoring & debugging or worked on large enough code bases to ‘get’ it yet.

    • BorgDrone@lemmy.one
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      9 months ago

      Is it really tempting for people? They’ve given me too many headaches when I’ve had to reformat or add functionality to files.

      I don’t get it either. Why would you ever feel the need for them to begin with?

    • fluxion@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      As with the sexual connotation here, the temptation is not rooted in long-term considerations like future maintainability

    • ZILtoid1991@kbin.social
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      9 months ago

      Depends on what you’re doing. Functional programming has its own downsides, especially once you want to write interactive programs, which often depend on global states. Then you either have to rely on atoms, which defeat the purpose of the functional programming, or pass around the program state, which is janly and can be slow.

      I personally go multi paradigm. Simpler stuffs are almost functional (did not opt for consting everything due to performance issues), GUI stuff is OOP, etc.

    • GTG3000@programming.dev
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      9 months ago

      Well, if you’re writing something the user will be looking at and clicking on, you will probably want to have some sort of state management that is global.

      Or if you’re writing something that seems really simple and it’s own thing at first but then SURPRISE it is part of the system and a bunch of other programmers have incorporated it into their stuff and the business analyst is inquiring if you could make it configurable and also add a bunch of functionality.

      I also had to work with a system where configurations for user space were done as libraries setting global constants. And then we changed it so everything had to be hastily redone so that suddenly every client didn’t have the same config.

  • idunnololz@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    Just create a global object and stuff your variable in there. Now you have a global singleton and that’s not a purely bad practice :D

        • SkyNTP@lemmy.ml
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          9 months ago

          Software dev is full of obscure keywords that describe otherwise pretty simple or basic concepts you stumble upon in practice naturally and that you probably already understand.

          • singleton: a class/object that is designed to be single use, i.e. only ever instantiated with a single instance. Typically used when you use class/objects more for flow control or to represent the state of the program itself, rather than using it to represent data
          • immutable: read-only, i.e. unchangeable
          • dependency injection: basically when you pass a function or object into another function object, thereby extending their effective functionality, typically for modular code and to separate concerns.

          Here’s one more of my favourite examples of such a keyword: memoization

    • xmunk@sh.itjust.works
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      9 months ago

      Real enterprise programmers know that everything should be on the stack… so they declare a List《void*》 in main.

      • idunnololz@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        But we might need to add more features in the future so it might not just be a list in a few years. Better encapsulate it in a few layers of abstractions just to be safe.

      • marcos@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        There’s no ISO standardized definition for variable. People use that word with all kinds of meaning.

        • drcouzelis@lemmy.zip
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          9 months ago

          Waaaait a minute… isn’t it called a variable because the contents are, you know, variable?

        • Yen@feddit.uk
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          9 months ago

          This is needlessly obtuse. The definition of the word is that it’s non-constant. There isn’t an ISO definition of the word no, but there are many reputable dictionaries out there that will serve as an alternative.

          • marcos@lemmy.world
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            9 months ago

            Well, starting with the definition from algebra, where it’s not something allowed to vary…

            I guess more people know about math than use imperative programing languages.

            • SkyeStarfall@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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              9 months ago

              Except that’s exactly what it is allowed to in algebra.

              Sure, in most equations you solve in early algebra school there is only one possible value for the variables. But in many equations there can be multiple, or even infinite. It’s an unknown, and the contents can vary (depending on other constraints, ie. The rest of the equation(s)).

              • marcos@lemmy.world
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                9 months ago

                There’s no time in algebra for your variables to vary.

                When you have a non-unitary set of solutions, you have a constant non-unitary set of solutions.

      • Walnut356@programming.dev
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        9 months ago

        I feel like it’s like pointers.

        “Variable” refers to the label, i.e. a box that can contain anything (like *ptr is a pointer to [something we dont know anything about])

        Immutable describes the contents, i.e. the stuff in the box cant change. (like int* ptr describes that the pointer points to an int)

        Rust makes it very obvious that there’s a difference between constants and immutable variables, mainly because constants must be compile time constants.

        What do you call it when a variable cant change after its definition, but isnt guaranteed to be the same on each function call? (E.g. x is an array that’s passed in, and we’re just checking if element y exists)

        It’s not a constant, the contents of that label are “changing”, but the label’s contents cant be modified inside the scope of that function. So it’s a variable, but immutable.

        • Eufalconimorph
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          9 months ago
          int const golden = 1.618;
          int* non_constant = (int*)&golden;
          golden = 1.61803399;
          

          Casts are totally not a danger that should require a comment explaining safety…

    • Eufalconimorph
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      9 months ago

      And more generally mutable aliasing references of any sort are evil. Doesn’t mean they’re not useful, just that you need magic protection spells (mutexes, semaphores, fancy lock-free algorithms, atomics, etc) to use them safely. Skip the spell or use she wrong one, and the demon escapes and destroys all you hold dear.

  • KittyCat@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    You can do better, define intergalactic variables that share the same memory location across multiple programs so you can seamlessly pass variables from one to the next.

  • Successful_Try543@feddit.de
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    9 months ago

    I’ve once had a course involving programming and the lecturer rewrote the code, which we were usually using at our institute, making ALL variables global. - Yes, also each and every loop counter and iterator. 🤪

    • Chriszz@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      There’s no way you teach a uni course and do this kind of thing unless to demonstrate poor practice/run time difference. Are you sure you were paying attention?

      • Successful_Try543@feddit.de
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        9 months ago

        Yes. He really thought it was efficient and would avoid errors if literally all variables were defined in a single Matlab function he called at the beginning of the script. We students all thought: “Man, are you serious?” As we didn’t want to debug such a mess, in our code, we ignored what he was doing and kept using local variables.

        • Chriszz@lemmy.world
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          9 months ago

          Ah I misread I thought it was specifically a programming course. I can expect this from a math prof.

          • Successful_Try543@feddit.de
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            9 months ago

            Yes, it was a course on finite deformation material models. And no, you do really, really not want to declare each and every variable in your material subroutine globally for the whole finite element program.

          • Techmaster@lemm.ee
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            9 months ago

            That’s why when your job hires new people right out of college they have no idea what they’re doing and now must be trained how to actually do the job. “What, you mean we aren’t writing this enterprise application in python!?”

      • rtxn@lemmy.world
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        9 months ago

        I’ve seen two teachers do this, both of them mathematics professors who teach programming for the extra cash. One uses C, the other Pascal.

  • stephfinitely@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    I am not a programmer who knows how to program. I know this because global variables are how I fix most the issue I run into, but are constantly told this wrong.

  • fbmac@lemmy.fbmac.net
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    9 months ago

    I asked stable diffusion for a photo-realistic version of this image. This isn’t what I had in mind

  • BilboBargains@lemmy.world
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    9 months ago

    Our Father, who art in Microsoft HQ,

    hallowed be thy naming conventions;

    thy architecture;

    thy will be done;

    on earth as it is in Linus Tech Tips.

    Give us this day our daily StackOverflow.

    And forgive us our 'sploits,

    as we forgive those who trespass against our user stories.

    And lead us not into temptation;

    but deliver us from a thicket of global variables.

    For thine is the irritating project manager, the power and the glory,

    for ever and ever.

    Or at least 7 years until obsolescence.

    Amen.

  • Blackmist@feddit.uk
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    9 months ago

    Nothing wrong with global variables.

    If anyone asks just say it’s the singleton pattern.