When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, It means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.
~ Lewis Carroll (born: 1832-01-27 died: 1898-01-14 at age: 65) — Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6
Much of the skill in writing unmaintainable code is the art of naming variables and methods. They don’t matter at all to the compiler. That gives you huge latitude to use them to befuddle the maintenance programmer.
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Wear your adversary down by tantalising, pretending to give information where there is really none. Disguise your vacuous statements sufficiently so the reader will blame himself for failing to understand.
The reader asks himself, if I am trying to compile the com.mindprod.holidays package, is basedir C:\, C:\com, C:\com\mindprod or C:\com\mindprod\holidays? You see why you should never use concrete examples? They are too clear. If you are forced to use them, complain that they sound childish and unprofessional. Complain that examples make it look as if that is all the product can do. You want people to appreciate fully very possible variation from the get go. You are not trying to inform, but impress! After all, no academic would be caught dead giving an example. People only respect that which is too abstract to grasp easily.
That’s a lot to remember. You will do just fine if all you do when writing documentation is maintain the attitude that people who don’t already know this jargon are stupid fools who don’t deserve to understand.
openParen = ( slash + asterix ) / equals;
marypoppins = ( superman + starship ) / god;This confuses the reader because they have difficulty disassociating the emotional connotations of the words from the logic they’re trying to think about.
You want is to use the decimal value, 132347. There’s no way without the aid of paper or a calculator that any normal person could convert that into the colour 'blue'. For extra bonus points you can produce a decimal colour that looks like it’s expressed as hex, for example 808000. A quick glance would guess half red + half green = darkish yellow, but in fact it’s not hex, the real colour is 0xc5440 (a dark cyan).
The Netscape colours are all carefully named. For example papayawhip is 0xffefd5. Just to keep them on their toes, define a papayawhip colour constant as 0xff00ff, a garish magenta. Have fun making up obscure colour names like algae = 0x556b2f instead of darkolivegreen. Very few people know what colour puce and teal are, but would never admit it. Exploit that.
You can even lay a trap for a programmer who comes after you to do the dirty deed. Use accurately-named but hideous colours. If the follow-up programer is lazy, he will change the colour definitions to something sane, but will leave your original colour names.
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