paper over : Java Glossary

paper over

An analogy with home decorating where you disguise cracks in the walls or other flaws by covering them with heavily patterned wallpaper.

In its most blatant form, an incompetent programmer will write some kludge to remedy a symptom without diagnosing the underlying cause and correcting it. For example, if the bottom line turned out negative he would add a Math. abs() call to correct it.

If a program behaves in an unexpected way, but the results seem ok, the incompetent programmer will suppress his curiosity and carry on with something else, not even leaving a note in the code to warn the next programmer who is assigned the job of correcting what turned out to be a fatal flaw. A competent programmer does not leave a program until its always behaving just as he expected it to.


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