Lesson in Programming: Why those /* (funny) */ comments are so important

At work we always marvel about the comments we come across in our code. Indiana Jones stories that somehow get related back to the code by it, how tired the programmer was when writing the code, indications of the [lack of] sobriety of the programmer, random musings about various wildlife…you name it. There’s nothing better than finding a gem. Feel free to submit your own stories.

Actually, I take that back. There is! Discovering your own gems!

So this isn’t exactly code, but it really got me. When I upped to GNOME 2.20, I noticed my task list applet had some gibberish on the right-hand side of it. Strange, eh? Perhaps some sort of bug, perhaps? Naw, something that obvious would’ve been spotted a long time ago. I’ve done something strangely, I was sure of it. As always, a visual is best [red indicates my thoughs at the time…]:

Task Selector: Hmm….

It took me a few weeks of not being able to read such small text and not bothering to even try to before I even thought twice about it. It’s scary. It’s new. It’s something. It’ll go away. Or I’ll figure out what it’s there for.

Ah hah! All it took was a few drinks, and it all made sense. Those must be workspace names! But…uh…gosh, those are strange names when you manage to look close enough to read them. “comes after 11” — who the hell named these things?!

Yep, that’d be me. Guilty as charged.

Workspace Switcher Prefs - Hah

And I remember. Years ago. Naming my workspaces because “Workspace {1..4}” simply was unacceptable to me. But there was no good reason to stick a proper name on the workspace anyway, so I didn’t. I bet I childishly giggled to myself while writing those. But now it seems they’re used. And I’m laughing even more. Yep. Gem discovered.

Moral of the story: It’s better than finding $20 in your back pocket!

For those of you who can count, what /is/ after 11? I could never figure it out.

[but then I looked it up on Wikipedia…lo and behold!]

/* note to reader: it’s the american dream! [eddie izzard] */

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