Smoke And Mirrors

def. SmokeAndMirrors - The act of creating code that cannot be deciphered.

                       Warning - may cause insanity

Debugging this code usually requires chasing call by reference, "in-out variables", etc. through thousands of lines of codes and numerous classes.

Please feel free to add examples of SmokeAndMirrors coding below.

NB: The social definition carries the inference that the SmokeAndMirrors were an intentional ploy to try and trick or convince the party listening or watching of what you are doing, when you aren't really doing that at all. Can sometimes be used to describe a marketing poly to mask the real state of affairs of a product. Assumedly originally used by magicians that used smoke and mirrors to make their act seem more magical.

Another sample:

When I was first at university in the 1970s as a young lecturer a senior colleague had a research student who had written a suite of programs in FortranLanguage. Part of it was an iteractive front end (text) which used assigned goto statements, which went to different points in the code depending on a variable. This code had never been tested because the university computer was not powerful enough. My senior colleague gave a copy of the code to someone who took it to Australia who wrote to us to say there was a bug in it. I was asked to test this out. By this time we had a computer which would run the code. I verified that there was a bug and wrote to say so. -- JohnFletcher

See also WriteOnlyCode.

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