Only nerds will appreciate this —

Yesterday I was in Farifax at General Dynamics undergoing training for networking middleware being used for Navy applications for submarines and the like.  The instructor was a C programmer who’d been around the block coming up with slick multiplatform networking tools for messaging and suchlike.  He mentioned taking a few Java courses and liking the language.  We mentioned benefits, such as the lack of pointer confusion in Java, which led to a discussion of some interesting bugs.  One is a Hashtable bug in Java itself that I think has already been fixed.  The bug is that Java pretty much dies if you put a Hashtable in itself.

This led to an anecdote by a newly employed GD guy who looked fresh out of college.  He told us about a bug in the old Zork text adventure; in certain parts of the game, you have containers that you can put things in.  But if you put containers within containers, sometimes weird stuff happens.  Here’s a quote from another site:

“Another container bug, but this one is in all versions, even the
Solid Gold edition (EXCEPT for Version 2, with its notoriously small
containers again). If you put the (inflated) raft in the coffin, then the
coffin in the raft, both will disappear. This does not work the other way 
around, however. If you put the coffin in the raft first, then the raft in 
the coffin, you get a message saying that there is no room. In Mini-Zork,
this bug not only appears, but the game locks up to boot (no pun
intended). — Graeme Cree”

Like I said, it is only amusing if you spend a lot of time programming for a living.

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