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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
sanity check
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programming 1. Checking code (or anything else, e.g. a
Usenet posting) for completely stupid mistakes. Implies
that the check is to make sure the author was sane when it was
written; e.g. if a piece of scientific software relied on a
particular formula and was giving unexpected results, one
might first look at the nesting of parentheses or the coding
of the formula, as a "sanity check", before looking at the
more complex I/O or data structure manipulation routines, much
less the algorithm itself.