A server application pulled off some sort of listings as table. Problem was, it crashed with some thousand data files after one and a half hours. I looked into that, and couldn't stop WTFing.

A stupid server side script fetched the data in XML (WTF!) and then inserted shit node-wise (WTF!!), which was O(n^2) - in PHP and on XML! Then it converted the whole shebang into HTML for browser display although users would finally copy/paste the result into Excel anyway.

The original developer even had written a note on the application page that pulling the data "could take long". Yeah because it's so fucking STUPID that Clippy is an Einstein in comparison, that's why!

So I pulled the raw data via batch file without XML wrapping and wrote a little C program for merging the dumped stuff client-side in O(n), spitting out a final CSV for Excel import.

Instead of fucking the server for 1.5 hours and then crashing, shit is done after 7 seconds, out of which the actual data processing takes 40 bloody milliseconds!

  • 4
    That's some next-level inefficiency.. if you ever get to know who made that atrocity, please kick them in the nuts so that they can't reproduce _/\_
  • 3
    Something similar happens with a current client: the current system implementation has an ORM-like library (made by the client's company). If you want an entity, the system loads that entity and all its relationships, and the relationships of the relationships... all of this in XML.
    At the end, one simple query loads in ~10s, in average and if the DB latency and workload is minimal.
    The worst: the client wants to use that library for a new product, what is advertised as "fast and reliable".
  • 3
    Might be management requirements too... I have done this kind of thing in the past "a HTML table" that I figured out later that moron copied to an excel file... Such a face palm when I saw her copying it to excel that I could not say anything I just let it be.
  • 3
    @hell in this case, the browser display in itself isn't really useful. The intended workflow necessarily goes over to MS Office afterwards. The copy/paste step even takes more time with a lot of data, plus that importing CSV is more reliable.

    That's why the HTML display was nonsense from the get-go. It just seemed the easiest way for the glue code hacker back then.
  • 2
    @Condor he isn't there anymore. But back then, he was the one who hired me.. LOL!
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