Fun in Source Code with Off And Away

Off and Away is a neat travel bidding site that lets you bid on travel deals for pennies. (The bids cost roughly a buck, though.) Curious at how their timer was put together, biz-partner Bob took a peek at their JavaScript. Somewhat surprised to find that they hadn’t minified it, he was even more amused by their credit card function, aptly named $.fn.creditcard_shizzle.

When writing and testing code, it’s really tempting to put in junk data or in-jokes or other fun bits. As a development company, we’ve banned that outright, even in development environments, because we’ve discovered that somehow, some way, our little joke will end up live, released to clients or their customers, or even worse, appear in big bold letters in the middle of a demo. Nothing quite matches the sheer terror and stomach-pit feeling as having “stupid mcassface” show up during a demo.

Clearly, Off and Away’s devs/founders have a sense of humor and since this is source code and not customer-facing, this isn’t really a big deal. It’s not even vulgar. But it’s amusing to stumble across these sort of gems, as long as they’re not in the middle of a demo. For more fun, search swear words on Google’s Code Search. You’ll find some exasperated comments, angry rants, and outright bitterness, to be sure. (Hell, even Microsoft’s done it.)

Off and Away

Posted in: Development

Comments working again

So in my zeal to get our new theme launched, I failed to remember to update some code on the comments page that is in place to keep us spam free.  The end result of this was that Yawasp, our anti-spam plugin, was identifying every comment as spam and rejecting them outright. Anyone that tried to post a comment over the last few days, I apologize profusely and encourage you to come back and post it now.

Special thanks to Ivo Jansch for taking the time to contact us and report the problem!

Posted in: Announcements

Why you really, *really* should document your code properly, inside and out

Coders like to code; coders don’t like to write. It’s no secret that thorough and approachable documentation is a rarity in the coding world. Despite its necessity for the adoptability of a given software package, finding good documentation is notoriously difficult. I’ve seen “documentation” consist of a simple phpDocumentor run. To the folks at Magento: this is NOT DOCUMENTATION!!! It’s merely is an incomplete reference guide!

Maybe it’s because I’m not the greatest coder this side of the Mississippi, or perhaps because I actually have an interest in writing English, but I, for one, like to write documentation. In past projects, I have begged bosses and project managers to allocate time for me to document the code that I have written (every time I was denied…by the way). [Not the case here, for the record. We love documentation and Brandon's new. He'll come to see that. :-) —Ed] Good documentation, whether for internal applications or publicly available code bases is nearly as important as the code itself. Here’s why, after the jump.

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Posted in: Development, How To, Rants