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Hung Vu
Hung Vu

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๐ŸŒฑ What was the most exotic codebase you had ever worked on?

My acquaintance works for a company specialized in processing flight data in real time. I'm not certain about the detail, but apparently, the common backend solutions like Java, Node, Ruby etc. are not sufficient. In the end, they built everything using C. You heard it right, the backend was built with C, that was mind-blowing to me. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

With that said, what was the most exotic codebase you had ever worked on? What led you and your team to the decision? How was your experience with that solution?

Top comments (14)

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John Peters

I worked at IBM on the ISeries operating system for many years.
There's no way to grasp the entire breadth of something as big as that was. Fortunately for me, they had discrete software components with well defined boundaries. I worked on three components.

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geraldew

I was once handed a 3 megabyte SQL script to manage (and debug as I soon found longstanding errors), expand (as I wasn't approved to cull any of it) and automate (well, I wasn't asked to do that but I didn't enjoy "manually" running it so I turned it into a nested set of stored procedures and executed the lot with one statement).

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Aaron Reese

A bit OT but I once worked for a company that had a franchise ERP system running in progress on SUN unix and an importer system running on IBM AS400 (DB2 and COBOL I think). My boss got called away from an overseas holiday to give a presentation to a large international client and was told to tell them they were integrated. She basically specced the interface on-the-fly in the meeting then we had to make it work LIKE SHE HAD DESCRIBED.
It was a stressful 4 months....

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MiguelMJ

My work experience is really short so I have not worked in exotic code bases... But during university I worked a lot on my own, so I remember going back to one of my oldest projects and oh boy that was exotic. I wanted to make a chatbot engine (which you can still find in the depths of my Github), fully In C++, when I didn't know how to use external dependencies and nothing about regexes. I built what I, years later, realized that was a regex engine, with an embedded interpreter for a basic scripting language (not Turing complete) that would be read from files with a custom format (I didn't know about the existence of json either). That monstrosity was +3000 lines long... and about three years later I dived again in it to rewrite it in f****** java. Life is weird.

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Hung Vu

I think many people were in the same boat as you, I tried to create everything at the beginning without being aware of existing solutions out there. Now looking back, one of my projects was meant to be a MVC framework in Java, well, conceptually. At that time, I don't even know there is a thing called MVC, so you can imagine the outcome of the project. Well, at least it's nowhere near your league of monstrosity. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

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Hung Vu

I know a little about Pascal (also the first language that I learned), and it is exotic enough to me. Lotus Notes and RPG 2, this is the first time I hear about them, but that is the case for most languages of the past, I guess?

It seems Lotus Notes is still relevant in a certain market. This makes me wonder if popular languages of the current era will fade away in the end.

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Hung Vu • Edited

If using Docker then was the codebase still in C, or other languages? Also, is there an exploit to win against those machines? ๐Ÿ˜‚

Jokes aside, there is flightradar24, but I believe it uses PHP for backend. I wonder to what end do we need to use C for the backend instead. Saying flight data is rather generic, but I did not ask for more information since it might be confidential.

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Adam Crockett ๐ŸŒ€

GraalVM Quarkus kotlin typescript

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hidden_dude

I worked with a huge Smalltalk codebase at IBM.
That's exotic in itself.
I later turned down 2 other Smalltalk jobs because I wanted to do C++ (this was the 90s).

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Mbenga

I worked in a company were nearly all the project was lock in SPIP, a 15 years old PHP frameworks. This technological debt forced us to work in php 5, in 2021 !

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Constantin

A gwt project in 2016

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Racheal Walker

I know a little about Pascal codebase, the first language that I learned and it is exotic enough to me. This makes me wonder if popular languages of the current era will fade away in the end.