Monday, April 9, 2018

“FIXME” Doesn’t Always Mean “Fix Me”

Jordan Rose (tweet):

And you might be wondering if anyone is tracking all of these things that supposedly need fixing. Is there a JIRA for each one? No, doesn’t seem to be…

The answer is that “FIXME” doesn’t really mean “this code needs fixing”, at least not in Swift and LLVM. It means “this code isn’t as good as it should be”.

  • Maybe it’s using a slow algorithm, like a linear search through thousands of elements instead of a hashtable or binary search.
  • Maybe it doesn’t handle some inputs that are unusual but not impossible.
  • Maybe the code’s behavior is fine, but it’s really hard to understand and could benefit from some refactoring.

This is how I use it as well. A “FIXME” in the code is more like a note about known limitations or ideas for future improvement. Something that actually needs to be fixed soon goes into the bug tracker.

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