New Editorial Guidelines

  • When reading through the comments in the The Daily WTF Reader Survey, I noticed that several people complained about the anonymization / truthfulness of the examples provided. This came as a bit of a surprise, because I always have tried to present real-world stories in a fun manner as close as possible to how they happened. In order to preserve reality as much as possible in the stories and articles, here are some new guidelines that I have been following as of this week:

    • Recreations - In the past, submitters have shared code as they remembered it (as opposed to copy/paste from the application). For example, the code from Flossin' My Threads was not the actual code from Jerry. I believe these add to the presentation of the stories and will continue this practice. However, recreated examples will noted as such. For example, "Though the original code is no more, I present to you only a small snippet of what this logic looked like ..."
    • Anonymization - Unless fundamental to the example (e.g. I, Object), class, method, variable names, and string/number literals will be changed to reflect a new business domain (e.g. insurance to banking).
    • Simplification / Clarification - This isn't the IOCCC and no one wants to try to figure out that "oQ" is variable representing the query object or that "prcrd()" is "process_credit()". Nitpicking on imperfect code is obnoxious. The fact that the example doesn't use a { } block in an IF statement is not the WTF.
    • Embelishments - Obviously, some parts of the stories are hyperbolized for entertainment's sake. But it should be very clear what those parts are. Take today's (Persistence Gets The Job Done), for example ...
      • "Robert" really isn't an Infallible Programmer, nor did he call himself that. The submitter painted Robert as the very arrogant "always right" type. Exact words: "If something doesn't work, [Robert] first assumes it's either php, postgres, or apache."
      • The submitter really didn't present the code as "Infallible Code", merly as a good example of the completely arrogant programmer who's always blaming something else for his problems. The whole infallible touch was mine.
      I promise, I don't add details that are, in and of themself, WTFs. In yesterday's article (Not Another DLL!), the rediculous details (e.g. wanting to build a web-based app) were in the original submission.
    • Verification - I've added "asking several questions to the submitter" to the process now. Not all submissions, obviously, but for most of them, especially those that lack "story" details. I am very, very reluctant to share things submitted without a real email.

    Hope that clears things up; don't hesitate to share feedback.

  • [quote user="Alex Papadimoulis"]

    (Check back in 5 minutes)


     Wtf. This was posted 21 minutes ago 😉 Ok, I'll be back in another 5 minutes.

  • YAY!!!! This clarifies so much now.... I'm still betting that the WTF's will read: the real wtf is that none of the code will execute because the parameter order is wrong!

  • Good.


    See, this is what's called a "transparent policy".

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