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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
C Programmer's Disease
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programming The tendency of the undisciplined C programmer
to set arbitrary but supposedly generous static limits on
table sizes (defined, if you're lucky, by constants in header
files) rather than taking the trouble to do proper dynamic
storage allocation. If an application user later needs to put
68 elements into a table of size 50, the afflicted programmer
reasons that he or she can easily reset the table size to 68
(or even as much as 70, to allow for future expansion) and
recompile. This gives the programmer the comfortable feeling
of having made the effort to satisfy the user's (unreasonable)
demands, and often affords the user multiple opportunities to
explore the marvellous consequences of fandango on core. In
severe cases of the disease, the programmer cannot comprehend
why each fix of this kind seems only to further disgruntle the