Reading other people's Code
Jan 18, 2006
3 minutes read

I don’t know if i just suck at understanding other people’s (php mostly) code, but i frequently find myself slapping my forehead while reading code other people produce. I don’t say i’m a lot better at it, and i know that, that”s why i would never ever put my crap code online for other people to use and work with.

I”m on the search for a Wiki Software (more a Wiki Class) that i can use to start writing something that is in my head, and i don’t currently want to write my own Wiki just for that. (I wonder how long i can withstand that urge though). While going through the numerous PHP Wiki’s that are available, i’m getting more and more frustrated.

Just an example of what i feel is just bad:

@ini_set('session.use_cookies','1');
@ini_set('session.use_only_cookies','1');
@ini_set('url_rewriter.tags','');
@ini_set('session.use_trans_sid','0');
@ini_set('display_errors','on');
@ini_set('default_charset',wc_charset);
@ini_set('mbstring.func_overload','7');
@ini_set('mbstring.internal_encoding',wc_charset);
@ini_set('mbstring.internal_encoding',wc_charset);

Please don't do that, it will drive poor Admin's insane trying to figure out why the settings in your precious php.ini don't seem to work. (Especially enabling display_errors inside the code somewhere is just a no-go, and who knows what the software does if i forbid ini_set in my php setup)

Having a full page of require's, that point to 5 line classes is bad. Having everything just in one single file is not the way to go either, and having 50 lines of Documentation for an absolutely obvious function that is exactly one(!) single line of code, against having not a single line of comments for a 50+ line function is just silly. Either document properly, or don''t document at all!

Writing entire functions in a single line that even grows out of my editor window (which is 200 chars wide) is bad. Having 10+ functions of those beneath each other makes me sad.

After opening another php file, and seeing this:

foreach($_GET as $key => $value){if(in_array($key,$export_vars)){$$key = $value;}}
foreach($_POST as $key => $value){if(in_array($key,$export_vars)){$$key = $value;}}

i immediatly quit my editor and rm -rf the thing. You know Spaces don't cost extra money to use in Sourcecode.

/*
    Yes, most of the formatting used in this file is HORRIBLY BAD STYLE. However,
    most of the action happens outside of this file, and I really wanted the code
    to look as small as what it does. Basically. Oh, I just suck. :)
*/

At least they’re honest with that statement. AND OH BOY IS HE RIGHT! (rm -rf)



Wow:

The ErfurtWiki engine is fully contained in one script file, but almost 200 feature enriching plugins and extensions modules are available.

Guys, THAT IS NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF! 130KB of Code! That's a whopping 4000 Lines! Aaargh!

I've got a headache now, and i still don't have anything that i can use. It''s not all bad though. Take a look at the source of coWiki. It is nicely structured, has _usefull_ comments in the code, and is beatifully indented. I think i will just use the Markdown class, and start writing code around that.


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