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What's the Wackiest Coding Hack You've Ever Seen?

What's the most unconventional, innovative, or straight-up wildest coding hack you've ever seen? Was it something you came up with, or was it someone else's creative solution?

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Top comments (14)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel (agent double)
siddharthshyniben profile image

There's the classic fast inverse square root:

float Q_rsqrt( float number )
    long i;
    float x2, y;
    const float threehalfs = 1.5F;

    x2 = number * 0.5F;
    y  = number;
    i  = * ( long * ) &y;                       // evil floating point bit level hacking
    i  = 0x5f3759df - ( i >> 1 );               // what the fuck? 
    y  = * ( float * ) &i;
    y  = y * ( threehalfs - ( x2 * y * y ) );   // 1st iteration
//  y  = y * ( threehalfs - ( x2 * y * y ) );   // 2nd iteration, this can be removed

    return y;
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And here's something I wrote myself:

let x={},s=(S,A=30,T='black,red,green,yellow,blue,magenta,cyan,white'.split`,`)=>,i)=>x[a+S]=t=>`\x1b[${i+A}m${t}\x1b[0m`)&&s;s('')('Bg',40)('BrBg',100)('Br',90)('',0,'reset,bold,dim,italic,underline,blink,,reverse,hide,strike'.split`,`);export default x
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It's been a while since I wrote this so it took me a hot minute to understand it :P
It's a little terminal color library I golfed, called planckcolors

tandrieu profile image
Thibaut Andrieu

The fast inverse square root, definitely my favorite one ๐Ÿ˜

tandrieu profile image
Thibaut Andrieu
#define private public
#include <SomeClassWithPrivateMembers.h>
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For those who are not familiar with C++, the #define private public say that "Starting from now, each time you see โ€œprivateโ€ word, replace it with โ€œpublicโ€.

Meaning, you can now access private members of following class.
I had to do this to workaround an uninitialized private variable in a 3rd part, leading to a crash.
Definitely an anti-pattern and doesn't work every time (create some low level binary incompatibilities).

mellen profile image
Matt Ellen

If by whacky, you mean bad:

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It was the source of a bug, but the developer put it back when I fixed it to if else. ๐Ÿคท

ibrahimraimi profile image
Ibrahim Raimi

The FizzBuzz code challenge, where developers are asked to write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three, the program should print Fizz instead of the number, and for multiples of five, it should print Buzz. For numbers that are multiples of both three and five, the program should print FizzBuzz. This challenge has led to some creative solutions, including one developer who wrote the entire program in one line of code using a ternary operator.

darthbob88 profile image
Raymond Price

I saw one that worked by finding the right seed for an RNG, then for int ii from 0 to 100 { print [ "Fizz", "Buzz", "FizzBuzz", ii ][rand.nextInt() % 4] }

Another one, that I want to do myself, used a genetic algorithm to evolve an array containing the correct sequence of strings.

darthbob88 profile image
Raymond Price

I honestly don't remember where, but I saw some code that used an array of function pointers, like

logTrue = () => console.log("It's true");
logFalse = () => console.log("It's false");
var foo = [logFalse, logTrue]
foo[+true]() //Chrome doesn't convert directly from true to 1, so have to do this to convert it.
/// "It's true"
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iamschulz profile image
Daniel Schulz

Probably the classic clear fix

thumbone profile image
Bernd Wechner

I'm with you on that. Whackiest not by its nature so much as the fact that it fulfilled such a ubiquitous need for so long before the language deigned to provide more logical solutions, even then I don't think it's been killed off completely yet.

kvapt profile image
Igor Diev • Edited

I've used it while working as a frontend-developer back in 2009. And you know, in 2009 I really thought, that I've invented this trick๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ I didn't know, that the others do the same๐Ÿ˜…

adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett • Edited
.background { background: background}
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Valid css and functioning too.

ironcladdev profile image
Conner Ow

In typescript, you can use require() to work around a circular dependency error.

ryencode profile image
Ryan Brown

I've always been in awe of Duff's Device
Duff's Device(Wikipedia)