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Ankit Beniwal
Ankit Beniwal

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Scare me with your one liner

My favourite one being

sudo rm -rf /*

What is your preferred scariest one liner code?

Top comments (12)

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Ben Lovy • Edited

The classic fork bomb is pretty terrifying:

:(){ :|:& };:

The function is called :. Call it scaryFunc instead:

scaryFunc() {
    scaryFunc() | scaryFunc() &
}; scaryFunc

This function recursively calls itself, then pipes it to another call of itself that gets put in the background with &, meaning the child will not die and just continually recursively call itself, blocking everything else, until it's maxed out your system resources and you crash. It's even multiple-recursive, for extra oomph. After defining the function, we call it.

Don't do this.

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Ankit Beniwal

I won't do it. Pretty Scary. 😱😱

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Jason C. McDonald • Edited

The following is the Python form of one of the most insidious anti-patterns in all of programming. The scary one-liner is the third line.

try:
    someImportantFunction()
except: pass

Mike Pirnat aptly calls that the "Diaper Anti-Pattern". It's horrific because it silences all errors, expected and otherwise, leaving your program in an unresolved exceptional state with few, if any, clues as to what's wrong.

Always, always explicitly catch and handle (or at least log) your exceptions. Unhandled exceptions should always crash your program. Period.

From the Zen of Python:

Errors should never pass silently.
Unless explicitly silenced.

If you're using anything resembling the diaper anti-pattern in any language, go fix it now. Seriously. Right now. Don't make me call your mother.


Here's a runner up from Python 2...

True, False = False, True

Thankfully, that one is no longer possible in Python 3.

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Daniel Brady

The boolean-swapping allowed by Python 2 is a great one πŸ‘ I remember when I first discovered that True and False were just builtin, mutable, global variables 😬

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Antonio Nesic

I agree with Ben Lovy... typical forkbomb like this one in C

#include int main(void) { while(1) fork(); }

But even scarier is

DROP FROM Users; WHERE id = 1

or something like deleting the column from table in production database like:

ALTER TABLE Users DROP username;

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Ankit Beniwal

deleting usernames is awesome. πŸ˜‚

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Alex Lohr
2816..toString(16)

Watch out, a JS ghost...

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Jonathan Apodaca

Ha! Made me smile

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Patrik Kiss • Edited

Sorry, my one liner is so scary even I'm too scared of writing it down.

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Peter • Edited

Something I actually did. On production. But luckily before going live with a new service.

DELETE FROM products;

Since that day, I always BEGIN and either ABORT or COMMIT after triple-checking.

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Frank Sierra
DELETE FROM users;
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Adnan Babakan (he/him)
rm -rf /