Questions tagged [anti-patterns]

An anti-pattern is a behavior or practice that is common despite being ineffective or counterproductive.

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100
votes
34answers
49k views

“Comments are a code smell” [closed]

A coworker of mine believes that any use of in-code comments (ie, not javadoc style method or class comments) is a code smell. What do you think?
27
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3answers
8k views

How to tackle a 'branched' arrow head anti-pattern? [duplicate]

I recently read this question that features, the arrow anti-pattern. I have something similar in code I'm trying to refactor except that it branches. It looks a little something like this: if(...
143
votes
9answers
75k views

Are exceptions as control flow considered a serious antipattern? If so, Why?

Back in the late 90's I worked quite a bit with a code base that used exceptions as flow control. It implemented a finite state machine to drive telephony applications. Lately I am reminded of those ...
573
votes
13answers
238k views

So Singletons are bad, then what?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the problems with using (and overusing) Singletons. I've been one of those people earlier in my career too. I can see what the problem is now, and yet, ...
45
votes
8answers
3k views

Code maintenance: keeping a bad pattern when extending new code for being consistent, or not?

I have to extend an existing module of a project. I don't like the way it has been done (lots of anti-pattern involved, like copy/pasted code). I don't want to perform a complete refactor for many ...
45
votes
11answers
8k views

Are error variables an anti-pattern or good design?

In order to handle several possible errors that shouldn't halt execution, I have an error variable that clients can check and use to throw exceptions. Is this an Anti-Pattern? Is there a better way to ...
59
votes
8answers
24k views

Is ORM an Anti-Pattern? [closed]

I had a very stimulating and interessting discussion with a colleague about ORM and its pros and cons. In my opinion, an ORM is useful only in the rarest cases. At least in my experience. But I don't ...
72
votes
6answers
44k views

EAV - is it really bad in all scenarios?

I'm thinking to use an entity-attribute-value (EAV) model for some of the stuff in one of the projects, but all questions about it in Stack Overflow end up to answers calling EAV an anti-pattern. But ...
27
votes
9answers
18k views

Alternatives to the singleton pattern

I have read different opinions about the singleton pattern. Some maintain that it should be avoided at all costs and others that it can be be useful in certain situations. One situation in which I ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Alternative to “inheritance versus composition?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where does this concept of “favor composition over inheritance” come from? I have colleagues at work who claim that "Inheritance is an anti-pattern" and want to use ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What alternatives to a singleton are there for a class which only can have one instance?

I need to represent an abstraction over various parts of the hardware for a game. I'm trying to decouple the code that does things like manage the logic of the game from the code that is API/platform ...
99
votes
60answers
12k views

Which things instantly ring alarm bells when looking at code? [closed]

I attended a software craftsmanship event a couple of weeks ago and one of the comments made was "I'm sure we all recognize bad code when we see it" and everyone nodded sagely without further ...
28
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2answers
3k views

Is there a named anti pattern for historically grown software? [closed]

Is there an anti pattern that describes a historically grown software system where multiple developers just added new features to the system but no one really kept an eye on the overall architecture ...
64
votes
8answers
44k views

Is modifying an incoming parameter an antipattern? [closed]

I am programming in Java, and I always make converters sort of like this: public OtherObject MyObject2OtherObject(MyObject mo){ ... Do the conversion return otherObject; } At the new ...
35
votes
10answers
9k views

What naming anti-patterns exist? [closed]

There are some names, where if you find yourself reaching for those names, you know you've already messed something up. For example: XxxManager This is bad because a class should describe what the ...
27
votes
9answers
3k views

If nulls are evil, what should be used when a value can be meaningfully absent?

This is one of the rules that are beaing repeated over and over and that perplex me. Nulls are evil and should be avoided whenever possible. But, but - from my naivety, let me scream - sometimes a ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

What is priming the pump? Sometimes called a priming read

I was taught this expression and pattern way back in the day. Sure, the name comes from old pumps that needed to be filled with water before they could pump water, but who cares? We're talking about ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Is functional decomposition really an antipattern?

While I was reading The worst anti-patterns you have came across, I clicked on the link in this post to land on the web site about anti-patterns. And the http://sourcemaking.com/antipatterns/...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

Best approach - convert multiple conditional if -else in a more handy design

I have a class that handles the state of a response, called StockResponse. The code has multiple ifs to handle each state of the stock. Most of the cases has a default behaviour, but some conditions ...
-4
votes
5answers
685 views

Why do programmers like to stick to “Thou shalt” / “Thou shalt not” rules that define whether a code is of good or bad quality? [closed]

I'm not sure how to correctly describe my problem... Ever since I started learning how to program, I recognized that many more experienced programmers have very strict (and, in the POV of a beginner, ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Should I refactor large functions that mostly consist of one regex? [closed]

I just wrote a function that spans approximately 100 lines. Hearing that, you are probably tempted to tell me about single responsibilities and urge me to refactor. This is my gut instinct as well, ...
8
votes
5answers
607 views

Reengineering the project from scratch [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you rebuild an application or keep on fixing the existing one I am currently working on a project that has been in development for the last few years used throughout ...
214
votes
10answers
25k views

Is there a name for the (anti- ) pattern of passing parameters that will only be used several levels deep in the call chain?

I was trying to find alternatives to the use of global variable in some legacy code. But this question is not about the technical alternatives, I'm mainly concerned about the terminology. The ...
181
votes
7answers
37k views

What is wrong with magic strings?

As an experienced software developer, I have learned to avoid magic strings. My problem is that it is such a long time since I have used them, I've forgotten most of the reasons why. As a result, I'...
130
votes
27answers
26k views

Is source code generation an anti-pattern?

If something can be generated, then that thing is data, not code. Given that, isn't this whole idea of source code generation a misunderstanding? That is, if there is a code generator for something, ...
110
votes
13answers
121k views

Is using nested try-catch blocks an anti-pattern?

Is this an antipattern? It is an acceptable practice? try { //do something } catch (Exception e) { try { //do something in the same line, but being less ambitious ...
42
votes
11answers
5k views

Are so called “cross-cutting concerns” a valid excuse to break SOLID/DI/IoC?

My colleagues like to say "logging/caching/etc. is a cross-cutting concern" and then proceed using the corresponding singleton everywhere. Yet they love IoC and DI. Is it really a valid excuse to ...
46
votes
9answers
30k views

Are utility classes with nothing but static members an anti-pattern in C++?

The question Where should I put functions that are not related to a class has sparked some debate over whether it makes sense in C++ to combine utility functions in a class or just have them exist as ...
28
votes
8answers
2k views

What to do about “Failure Driven Development”?

At our shop, we strive to be agile. And I'd say we are making great strides. That said, a few of us have spotted a pattern we have started calling "Failure Driven Development". Failure Driven ...
46
votes
6answers
13k views

Good or bad practice to mask Java collections with meaningful class names?

Lately I've been in the habit of "masking" Java collections with human-friendly class names. Some simple examples: // Facade class that makes code more readable and understandable. public class ...
28
votes
10answers
7k views

How many are too many interfaces on a class? [closed]

I would probably consider it a code smell or even an anti-pattern to have a class that implements 23 interfaces. If it is indeed an anti-pattern, what would you call it? Or is it simply just not ...
10
votes
1answer
852 views

When is a glue or management class doing too much?

I'm prone to building centralized classes that manage the other classes in my designs. It doesn't store everything itself, but most data requests would go to the "manager" first. While looking at an ...
9
votes
26answers
5k views

The worst anti-patterns you have came across [closed]

What are the worst anti-patterns you have came across in your career as a programmer? I'm mostly involved in java, although it is probably language-independent. I think the worst of it is what I ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Design Pattern - DLL per Strategy

I usually found myself designing my application in the following way: One DLL containing interfaces for a desired subsystem. For example, Company.Framework.Persistence.dll. One new DLL per each ...
4
votes
4answers
710 views

Are Compiler Directives an Antipattern?

I'm working on a legacy system that has a helper class that is symbolically linked into many different .Net projects within a solution. The logic is riddled with compiler directives that change it's ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

Which is a better pattern (coding style) for validating arguments - hurdle (barrier) or fence? [duplicate]

I don't know if there are any accepted names for these patterns (or anti-patterns), but I like to call them what I call them here. Actually, that would be Question 1: What are accepted names for these ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is implementing an interface defined in a subpackage an anti-pattern?

Let's say I have the following: package me.my.pkg; public interface Something { /* ... couple of methods go here ... */ } and: package me.my; import me.my.pkg.Something; public class SomeClass ...
-6
votes
3answers
1k views

How can hard-coding be considered a code smell in the age of micro-services?

As an intermediate stage hard-coding is accepted by Google in their Tour of Heroes Angular tutorial but the benefit cannot surely only be for novices. Do people not understand that hard-coding as an ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Singleton without any state

I worked on a project and found a working solution, but now I got some questions on how I solved some problems in the code. First of all, I am no expert in design patterns, but I know the (anti-)...
4
votes
2answers
986 views

Is there a term for the error-handling anti-pattern of discarding all available info and just returning failure?

From time to time (unfortunately way too often) I have to fix code such as this: // C++ code bool anyOldFunction(Param p) { try { ... if(some_condition_here) { handleErrorX(); return ...
1
vote
1answer
960 views

Is this a good service locator, and is this service locator pattern(?) OK?

I'm working in Zend framework 1 and was using Zend_Registry to store objects so that I could replace them in my controllers while unit testing: $auth = Zend_Registry::get('Auth'); // set in Bootstrap....
1
vote
1answer
5k views

Code reuse via inheritance [duplicate]

I have a set of classes that are all dealing with some related tasks. These tasks do have different inputs and outputs. This causes it to become impossible to have the tasks done via shared code ...