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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So Bad It's Funny

At work I've been taking a program written by another engineer and trying to merge the functionality into a program that I've been writing. During this process, I have found some code so bad that it's both funny and depressing at the same time. Here is a great example:
[Update 10 Feb 2010: This code is C#]

public bool CheckMsgValid(byte[] _myArray, int _myIdx) {
bool t;
t = ((_myArray[_myIdx] & 0x80) == 0x80) ? true : false;
return t;

...which is basically the long way to write:

public bool CheckMsgValid(byte[] b, int x) {
return b[x] & 0x80 != 0 ;

I guess the original coder wanted to make double-sure that the two values were equal.


  1. erm, not this?
    return b[x] & 0x80;

  2. I should have mentioned, the code above was C#, not C. Because of the increased type safety, just "b[x] & 0x80" wouldn't return a bool.

  3. So what does _myArray[_myIdx] & 0x80 mean in C# and why is it superfluous in your code? I thought it was some bit masking.

  4. It is bitmasking. Then the "==" compares the mask and produces a bool.

  5. I'm puzzled. Suppose in b[x] the value 129 (0x81) is stored. What are the results of both functions?

  6. Ah, you're right. I had a typo above. Fixed.

  7. In the meantime I installed a C# compiler on my linux box. And it wasn't happy with that either. Maybe: return (b[x] & 0x80) != 0 ;


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