CodeSOD: The Duff Code

As we frequently note, a staggering number of real-world software products start their lives as Access databases running from a shared folder somewhere. There are professional developers who end up maintaining these monstrosities.

Gregory has had the misfortune of being one of those developers. A client has a terribly performing Access database, and it happens to be the driver of their business: it generates insurance quotes for an insurance company.

Let's take a look at some of the code.

'A Pause function
Public Function HoldIt(Longish As Integer)
    Dim Startof
    Dim temp
    temp = 0
    Startof = Second(Now)
        temp = Second(Now) - Startof
    Loop Until temp > Longish
End Function

Hey, I think I found the performance problem. The only good thing I can say about this busy loop is that they actually check the system time, and didn't just throw a pile of iterations at it and hope it was good enough.

Then again, why do they want a pause function anyway? I'm not sure I want to know.

Public Sub MegaQuit()
    Dim FredBlogs
    Dim intx As Integer
    Dim intCount As Integer
       intCount = Forms.Count - 1
       For intx = intCount To 0 Step -1
            If Forms(intx).Name <> "HiddenStarter" Then
                DoCmd.Close acForm, Forms(intx).Name
            End If
    If pboolCloseAccess <> True Then
        FredBlogs = MsgBox("Application will close.  Continue?", vbOKCancel, "EXIT")
        If FredBlogs = vbCancel Then
            DoCmd.OpenForm "Start_up"
            pboolCloseAccess = True
            DoCmd.Quit acQuitSaveAll
        End If
    End If
End Sub

This method closes all the open windows, asks a confirmation, and then either returns to the startup screen or quits. It's honestly nothing spectacular, aside from the mega-name of the function, and the use of FredBlogs. TIL that "Fred Bloggs" is the UK equivalent of "John Q. Public" in the US- a placeholder name for the average person on the street.

No, that doesn't help me understand why that's the name of this variable, but at least I learned something.

But let's close out with a function that outputs some error messages. I expect to see t-shirts based off these error messages on Shirts that Go Hard before the end of the week.

Public Static Sub FrErr(NameOfApp)
    Dim Count
    Count = Count + 1
    If Count < 5 Then
    On Error GoTo FrErrErr
        MsgBox "I'm broken. I Don't know what happened (I wasn't running at the time)," & vbCrLf & _
        "but I called: " & _
        NameOfApp & " and bang! The duff code came back with " & vbCrLf & _
        Err.Number & ":" & Err.Description & ". Sorry."
        MsgBox "I'm broken. I Don't know what happened (this isn't the first time)," & vbCrLf & _
        "but I called: " & _
        NameOfApp & " and bang! The duff code came back with " & vbCrLf & _
        Err.Number & ":" & Err.Description & ". I'm very sorry.  Have you considered restarting the PC?"
    End If
    Exit Sub
    MsgBox "I'm Broken.  I Don't know what happened and when I tried to find out I got an error.  Sorry.", , "Sorry"
End Sub

Duff code is not to be confused with Duff's Device

I'm broken. I don't know what happened (this isn't the first time).

[Advertisement] BuildMaster allows you to create a self-service release management platform that allows different teams to manage their applications. Explore how!

This post originally appeared on The Daily WTF.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *