Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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On The Comical Side Of Computer Programming

Something that really rocks about the Java language is the Exceptions. No, no, it sucks when something goes wrong and you have to write dodgy code to handle the possibility, but Exceptions themselves are fun. Or more accurately, the names of exceptions, because Java is very much oriented around variable names like thisIsAVeryVeryVeryLongVariableName instead of the more C-like method of, say, shorthand (tiavvvlvn).

But still, sometimes the abbreviation is the better way to pronounce an exception. Not always the proper acronym, but an abbreviation. The result is frequently something that sounds like an obcenity in a foreign language, which is perfect for a program's internal semierrors. Examples:

ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: better known as the "Aioobe." That's pronounced "Aye-OOH-bee"; it occurs when one tries to use an array, but the index used isn't actually on the array.

MalformedURLException: A much better pronunciation is "Malfurle." That's a long "e" at the end: "Mal-FUR-lee". It's quite a popular error to get in applet programming, I've heard.

NullPointerException: This one doesn't have a standard or substandard short form, but has gained a sound effect with me and Ron (one of the other students in CS101 last semester) from when I tried to explain what would cause it. It goes with the hand symbol of a finger rapidly tracing a straight-line path to the right, then the entire hand opening at the last sound. The sound is best described as "whistle-plvpvt" and can't be described more than that; it symbolizes the system following a pointer ("whistle"- this part is a quick rising and falling tone) and then finding a null when it wasn't ready for one; this is the "plvpvt" sound. In the event that the program actually followed several pointer successfully before hitting the unexpected null, the whistle is repeated with the finger changing direction at the end of each, and an instantaneous stop in the whistle. The oppostite sound and action is "whistle-ding", where the "ding' is accompanied by a quick thumbs-up at wherever the hand was from the previous motion. This symbolizes a pointer actually finding an object, field, or method. (Whether it was the intended object, field, or method is another matter entirely.)

ArithmeticException: I pronounce this "deezo" ("DEE-zoe") because it is almost always caused by a divide by zero operation. Hence, deezo. Alternately, "deezro" ("DEEZ-roe").

ClassCastException: No short form, but a popular parody. Several times, I have overheard people (different sets of people, even!) calling it a "CrassClashExplosion." Considering how annoying it is when you realize that your code can cause such an error, I understand the sentiment.

And this is why I like Java Exceptions. They're fun to say!

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