Do Not Copy and Paste Code!

If my coworkers read the title they’d think my blog got hacked. I can almost be called a proponent for copying and pasting code. I don’t encourage it but I do do it quite often. My philosophy is: copy and paste code, pay attention, and fix whatever problems you introduce later That is until now. So far, the worst thing copying and pasting code has done is introduce bugs. Today, copying an pasting code caused data loss.

I wanted to take the logic I have in the task classes and use it for contexts. I decided to create corresponding context classes and copy functions from the the task classes to the new context classes. It worked. However, I missed replacing one occurrence of task with context. Probably the most important and impactful one. When persisting data in an iOS app you specify the file path where you want the data to reside. I forgot to replace the word “Task” with “Context” which caused the list of contexts to be written where tasks are. Good thing I have my tasks saved somewhere else. This mistake has taught me a valuable lesson. Fortunately it happened in a personal project and not a work one.

Will I stop copying and pasting code? Probably not entirely, no. I will, however, be more careful, do it more sparingly, and probably not do it at all in critical areas.

Goals for tomorrow are: Add the ability to link tasks to contexts, and finally get around to storing urgency, importance, and effort.