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Dated: Oct. 05, 2004
Related CategoriesC Programming / C++ / C#
1. Thou shalt run lint frequently and study its pronouncements with care, for verily its perception and judgement oft exceed thine.
This is still wise counsel, although many modern compilers search out many of the same sins, and there are often problems with lint being aged and infirm, or unavailable in strange lands. There are other tools, such as Saber C, useful to similar ends.
"Frequently" means thou shouldst draw thy daily guidance from it, rather than hoping thy code will achieve lint's blessing by a sudden act of repentance at the last minute. De-linting a program which has never been linted before is often a cleaning of the stables such as thou wouldst not wish on thy worst enemies. Some observe, also, that careful heed to the words of lint can be quite helpful in debugging.
"Study" doth not mean mindless zeal to eradicate every byte of lint output-if for no other reason, because thou just canst not shut it up about some things-but that thou should know the cause of its unhappiness and understand what worrisome sign it tries to speak of.
2. Thou shalt not follow the NULL pointer, for chaos and madness await thee at its end.
Clearly the holy scriptures were mis-transcribed here, as the words should have been "null pointer", to minimize confusion between the concept of null pointers and the macro NULL (of which more anon). Otherwise, the meaning is plain. A null pointer points to regions filled with dragons, demons, core dumps, and numberless other foul creatures, all of which delight in frolicing in thy program if thou disturb their sleep. A null pointer doth not point to a 0 of any type, despite some blasphemous old code which impiously assumes this.
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