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SlowCoder74

Best Coding Practices & Magic Numbers

20 posts in this topic

Good morning all!

I was perusing through your BCP.  I wanted to make a comment about the Magic Numbers portion.  I agree that giving values a "name" via a variable often helps to identify the meaning.  But I'd also like to add that I very often have lines that may embed multiple or long functions, and I actually find it easier to use the number+number+number method, rather than using the actual variables, to save space.

I'll use msgbox as an example:

iVar = msgbox(3+16,"title","my message")

which says I want "Yes, No, Cancel" buttons, and a stop sign icon.  If I forget what 3 and 16 are, I can just pull up msgbox in help to quickly find them.

It's great that you have the representative variables, but it would be nice to see them listed on the help pages for those of use who prefer to use them.

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SlowCoder74,

 

I actually find it easier to use the number+number+number method, rather than using the actual variables, to save space

While I sympathise I do not regard this as a valid reason for making your code unreadable. And if you were to post code filled with magic numbers when asking for help, I personally would not bother looking at it in detail (unless you had a decode alongside as I provide in my UDFs). :(

 

it would be nice to see them listed on the help pages

Have you looked at the Beta Help file? ;)

M23


Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind._______My UDFs:

Spoiler

ArrayMultiColSort ---- Sort arrays on multiple columns
ChooseFileFolder ---- Single and multiple selections from specified path treeview listing
Date_Time_Convert -- Easily convert date/time formats, including the language used
ExtMsgBox --------- A highly customisable replacement for MsgBox
GUIExtender -------- Extend and retract multiple sections within a GUI
GUIFrame ---------- Subdivide GUIs into many adjustable frames
GUIListViewEx ------- Insert, delete, move, drag, sort, edit and colour ListView items
GUITreeViewEx ------ Check/clear parent and child checkboxes in a TreeView
Marquee ----------- Scrolling tickertape GUIs
NoFocusLines ------- Remove the dotted focus lines from buttons, sliders, radios and checkboxes
Notify ------------- Small notifications on the edge of the display
Scrollbars ----------Automatically sized scrollbars with a single command
StringSize ---------- Automatically size controls to fit text
Toast -------------- Small GUIs which pop out of the notification area

 

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JohnOne,

Those pages will be updated once there is a new release - it is too much bother during the multiple Beta cycle. ;)

M23


Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind._______My UDFs:

Spoiler

ArrayMultiColSort ---- Sort arrays on multiple columns
ChooseFileFolder ---- Single and multiple selections from specified path treeview listing
Date_Time_Convert -- Easily convert date/time formats, including the language used
ExtMsgBox --------- A highly customisable replacement for MsgBox
GUIExtender -------- Extend and retract multiple sections within a GUI
GUIFrame ---------- Subdivide GUIs into many adjustable frames
GUIListViewEx ------- Insert, delete, move, drag, sort, edit and colour ListView items
GUITreeViewEx ------ Check/clear parent and child checkboxes in a TreeView
Marquee ----------- Scrolling tickertape GUIs
NoFocusLines ------- Remove the dotted focus lines from buttons, sliders, radios and checkboxes
Notify ------------- Small notifications on the edge of the display
Scrollbars ----------Automatically sized scrollbars with a single command
StringSize ---------- Automatically size controls to fit text
Toast -------------- Small GUIs which pop out of the notification area

 

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SlowCoder74,

What you do in your own code is your business.


_AdapterConnections()_AlwaysRun()_AppMon()_AppMonEx()_BinaryBin()_CheckMsgBox()_CmdLineRaw()_ContextMenu()_ConvertLHWebColor()/_ConvertSHWebColor()_DesktopDimensions()_DisplayPassword()_DotNet_Load()/_DotNet_Unload()_Fibonacci()_FileCompare()_FileCompareContents()_FileNameByHandle()_FilePrefix/SRE()_FindInFile()_GetBackgroundColor()/_SetBackgroundColor()_GetConrolID()_GetCtrlClass()_GetDirectoryFormat()_GetDriveMediaType()_GetFilename()/_GetFilenameExt()_GetHardwareID()_GetIP()_GetIP_Country()_GetOSLanguage()_GetSavedSource()_GetStringSize()_GetSystemPaths()_GetURLImage()_GIFImage()_GoogleWeather()_GUICtrlCreateGroup()_GUICtrlListBox_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_SaveCSV()_GUICtrlListView_SaveHTML()_GUICtrlListView_SaveTxt()_GUICtrlListView_SaveXML()_GUICtrlMenu_Recent()_GUICtrlMenu_SetItemImage()_GUICtrlTreeView_CreateArray()_GUIDisable()_GUIImageList_SetIconFromHandle()_GUIRegisterMsg()_GUISetIcon()_Icon_Clear()/_Icon_Set()_IdleTime()_InetGet()_InetGetGUI()_InetGetProgress()_IPDetails()_IsFileOlder()_IsGUID()_IsHex()_IsPalindrome()_IsRegKey()_IsStringRegExp()_IsSystemDrive()_IsUPX()_IsValidType()_IsWebColor()_Language()_Log()_MicrosoftInternetConnectivity()_MSDNDataType()_PathFull/GetRelative/Split()_PathSplitEx()_PrintFromArray()_ProgressSetMarquee()_ReDim()_RockPaperScissors()/_RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock()_ScrollingCredits_SelfDelete()_SelfRename()_SelfUpdate()_SendTo()_ShellAll()_ShellFile()_ShellFolder()_SingletonHWID()_SingletonPID()_Startup()_StringCompact()_StringIsValid()_StringRegExpMetaCharacters()_StringReplaceWholeWord()_StringStripChars()_Temperature()_TrialPeriod()_UKToUSDate()/_USToUKDate()_WinAPI_Create_CTL_CODE()_WinAPI_CreateGUID()_WMIDateStringToDate()/_DateToWMIDateString()Au3 script parsingAutoIt SearchAutoIt3 PortableAutoIt3WrapperToPragmaAutoItWinGetTitle()/AutoItWinSetTitle()CodingDirToHTML5FileInstallrFileReadLastChars()GeoIP databaseGUI - Only Close ButtonGUI ExamplesGUICtrlDeleteImage()GUICtrlGetBkColor()GUICtrlGetStyle()GUIEventsGUIGetBkColor()Int_Parse() & Int_TryParse()IsISBN()LockFile()Mapping CtrlIDsOOP in AutoItParseHeadersToSciTE()PasswordValidPasteBinPosts Per DayPreExpandProtect GlobalsQueue()Resource UpdateResourcesExSciTE JumpSettings INISHELLHOOKShunting-YardSignature CreatorStack()Stopwatch()StringAddLF()/StringStripLF()StringEOLToCRLF()VSCROLLWM_COPYDATAMore Examples...

Updated: 04/09/2015

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#7 ·  Posted (edited)

I figure I will write a script to back through and fix all my bad habits in the common funcs like msgbox until they change, but if it is feasible to reliably stop it before it happens that solution might be ridiculously useful.  Like Scite suggesting the name when a number is typed?

Edited by boththose

,-. .--. ________ .-. .-. ,---. ,-. .-. .-. .-.
|(| / /\ \ |\ /| |__ __||| | | || .-' | |/ / \ \_/ )/
(_) / /__\ \ |(\ / | )| | | `-' | | `-. | | / __ \ (_)
| | | __ | (_)\/ | (_) | | .-. | | .-' | | \ |__| ) (
| | | | |)| | \ / | | | | | |)| | `--. | |) \ | |
`-' |_| (_) | |\/| | `-' /( (_)/( __.' |((_)-' /(_|
'-' '-' (__) (__) (_) (__)

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I created a script a while back to convert MsgBox() values to their constant variable counterparts. An idea by Mat I should add.


_AdapterConnections()_AlwaysRun()_AppMon()_AppMonEx()_BinaryBin()_CheckMsgBox()_CmdLineRaw()_ContextMenu()_ConvertLHWebColor()/_ConvertSHWebColor()_DesktopDimensions()_DisplayPassword()_DotNet_Load()/_DotNet_Unload()_Fibonacci()_FileCompare()_FileCompareContents()_FileNameByHandle()_FilePrefix/SRE()_FindInFile()_GetBackgroundColor()/_SetBackgroundColor()_GetConrolID()_GetCtrlClass()_GetDirectoryFormat()_GetDriveMediaType()_GetFilename()/_GetFilenameExt()_GetHardwareID()_GetIP()_GetIP_Country()_GetOSLanguage()_GetSavedSource()_GetStringSize()_GetSystemPaths()_GetURLImage()_GIFImage()_GoogleWeather()_GUICtrlCreateGroup()_GUICtrlListBox_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_SaveCSV()_GUICtrlListView_SaveHTML()_GUICtrlListView_SaveTxt()_GUICtrlListView_SaveXML()_GUICtrlMenu_Recent()_GUICtrlMenu_SetItemImage()_GUICtrlTreeView_CreateArray()_GUIDisable()_GUIImageList_SetIconFromHandle()_GUIRegisterMsg()_GUISetIcon()_Icon_Clear()/_Icon_Set()_IdleTime()_InetGet()_InetGetGUI()_InetGetProgress()_IPDetails()_IsFileOlder()_IsGUID()_IsHex()_IsPalindrome()_IsRegKey()_IsStringRegExp()_IsSystemDrive()_IsUPX()_IsValidType()_IsWebColor()_Language()_Log()_MicrosoftInternetConnectivity()_MSDNDataType()_PathFull/GetRelative/Split()_PathSplitEx()_PrintFromArray()_ProgressSetMarquee()_ReDim()_RockPaperScissors()/_RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock()_ScrollingCredits_SelfDelete()_SelfRename()_SelfUpdate()_SendTo()_ShellAll()_ShellFile()_ShellFolder()_SingletonHWID()_SingletonPID()_Startup()_StringCompact()_StringIsValid()_StringRegExpMetaCharacters()_StringReplaceWholeWord()_StringStripChars()_Temperature()_TrialPeriod()_UKToUSDate()/_USToUKDate()_WinAPI_Create_CTL_CODE()_WinAPI_CreateGUID()_WMIDateStringToDate()/_DateToWMIDateString()Au3 script parsingAutoIt SearchAutoIt3 PortableAutoIt3WrapperToPragmaAutoItWinGetTitle()/AutoItWinSetTitle()CodingDirToHTML5FileInstallrFileReadLastChars()GeoIP databaseGUI - Only Close ButtonGUI ExamplesGUICtrlDeleteImage()GUICtrlGetBkColor()GUICtrlGetStyle()GUIEventsGUIGetBkColor()Int_Parse() & Int_TryParse()IsISBN()LockFile()Mapping CtrlIDsOOP in AutoItParseHeadersToSciTE()PasswordValidPasteBinPosts Per DayPreExpandProtect GlobalsQueue()Resource UpdateResourcesExSciTE JumpSettings INISHELLHOOKShunting-YardSignature CreatorStack()Stopwatch()StringAddLF()/StringStripLF()StringEOLToCRLF()VSCROLLWM_COPYDATAMore Examples...

Updated: 04/09/2015

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I figure I will write a script to back through and fix all my bad habits in the common funcs like msgbox until they change, but if it is feasible to reliably stop it before it happens that solution might be ridiculously useful.  Like Scite suggesting the name when a number is typed?

Difficult. SciTE is an editor, rather than an IDE at the end of the day. 

Could do it so you type MsgBox( and it would then bring up the autocomplete box with constant suggestions. That should be possible with Lua but I don't know it well enough.

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#10 ·  Posted (edited)

SlowCoder74,

 

While I sympathise I do not regard this as a valid reason for making your code unreadable. And if you were to post code filled with magic numbers when asking for help, I personally would not bother looking at it in detail (unless you had a decode alongside as I provide in my UDFs). :(

 

Have you looked at the Beta Help file? ;)

M23

No, I haven't read the beta help.  I prefer to work in the current release, and allow others to find the bugs. :)

I don't think the code is strictly unreadable, as by breaking out the number values (1+2+4), they can be viewed in the command help by pressing F1.  The variables, however, are not as easily found.

 

Can't be certain, but OP could be refering to online docs.

MsgBox()

Yes!

JohnOne,

Those pages will be updated once there is a new release - it is too much bother during the multiple Beta cycle. ;)

M23

This means you do intend to include the variables in the flag lists/remarks of the next help version?

SlowCoder74,

What you do in your own code is your business.

I agree.  Everyone has their own methods for doing things, and I think I follow most principles pretty well.  I'm not expecting any great changes to the BCP with my name in lights, just consideration for alternate methods of doing things, depending on circumstances.

In the end, I try to be contributory to forums to which I visit.  Kind of hard here, where everyone has thought of everything already. :P

Edited by SlowCoder74

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Most of the time, even if you don't know what the value of a constant is, the name of the constant usually hints at what it does or is for.


If I posted any code, assume that code was written using the latest release version unless stated otherwise. Also, if it doesn't work on XP I can't help with that because I don't have access to XP, and I'm not going to.
Give a programmer the correct code and he can do his work for a day. Teach a programmer to debug and he can do his work for a lifetime - by Chirag Gude
How to ask questions the smart way!

I hereby grant any person the right to use any code I post, that I am the original author of, on the autoitscript.com forums, unless I've specifically stated otherwise in the code or the thread post. If you do use my code all I ask, as a courtesy, is to make note of where you got it from.

Back up and restore Windows user files _Array.au3 - Modified array functions that include support for 2D arrays.  -  ColorChooser - An add-on for SciTE that pops up a color dialog so you can select and paste a color code into a script.  -  Customizable Splashscreen GUI w/Progress Bar - Create a custom "splash screen" GUI with a progress bar and custom label.  -  _FileGetProperty - Retrieve the properties of a file  -  SciTE Toolbar - A toolbar demo for use with the SciTE editor  -  GUIRegisterMsg demo - Demo script to show how to use the Windows messages to interact with controls and your GUI.  -   Latin Square password generator

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While I applaud new suggestions, this one won't be considered I'm afraid. The problem is you're thinking in the case of constant values that are documented in the help file, what about those values which aren't documented or at least easy to find? When you start collaborating with other coders/developers you will understand why magic numbers are bad and why commenting is a must.


_AdapterConnections()_AlwaysRun()_AppMon()_AppMonEx()_BinaryBin()_CheckMsgBox()_CmdLineRaw()_ContextMenu()_ConvertLHWebColor()/_ConvertSHWebColor()_DesktopDimensions()_DisplayPassword()_DotNet_Load()/_DotNet_Unload()_Fibonacci()_FileCompare()_FileCompareContents()_FileNameByHandle()_FilePrefix/SRE()_FindInFile()_GetBackgroundColor()/_SetBackgroundColor()_GetConrolID()_GetCtrlClass()_GetDirectoryFormat()_GetDriveMediaType()_GetFilename()/_GetFilenameExt()_GetHardwareID()_GetIP()_GetIP_Country()_GetOSLanguage()_GetSavedSource()_GetStringSize()_GetSystemPaths()_GetURLImage()_GIFImage()_GoogleWeather()_GUICtrlCreateGroup()_GUICtrlListBox_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_SaveCSV()_GUICtrlListView_SaveHTML()_GUICtrlListView_SaveTxt()_GUICtrlListView_SaveXML()_GUICtrlMenu_Recent()_GUICtrlMenu_SetItemImage()_GUICtrlTreeView_CreateArray()_GUIDisable()_GUIImageList_SetIconFromHandle()_GUIRegisterMsg()_GUISetIcon()_Icon_Clear()/_Icon_Set()_IdleTime()_InetGet()_InetGetGUI()_InetGetProgress()_IPDetails()_IsFileOlder()_IsGUID()_IsHex()_IsPalindrome()_IsRegKey()_IsStringRegExp()_IsSystemDrive()_IsUPX()_IsValidType()_IsWebColor()_Language()_Log()_MicrosoftInternetConnectivity()_MSDNDataType()_PathFull/GetRelative/Split()_PathSplitEx()_PrintFromArray()_ProgressSetMarquee()_ReDim()_RockPaperScissors()/_RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock()_ScrollingCredits_SelfDelete()_SelfRename()_SelfUpdate()_SendTo()_ShellAll()_ShellFile()_ShellFolder()_SingletonHWID()_SingletonPID()_Startup()_StringCompact()_StringIsValid()_StringRegExpMetaCharacters()_StringReplaceWholeWord()_StringStripChars()_Temperature()_TrialPeriod()_UKToUSDate()/_USToUKDate()_WinAPI_Create_CTL_CODE()_WinAPI_CreateGUID()_WMIDateStringToDate()/_DateToWMIDateString()Au3 script parsingAutoIt SearchAutoIt3 PortableAutoIt3WrapperToPragmaAutoItWinGetTitle()/AutoItWinSetTitle()CodingDirToHTML5FileInstallrFileReadLastChars()GeoIP databaseGUI - Only Close ButtonGUI ExamplesGUICtrlDeleteImage()GUICtrlGetBkColor()GUICtrlGetStyle()GUIEventsGUIGetBkColor()Int_Parse() & Int_TryParse()IsISBN()LockFile()Mapping CtrlIDsOOP in AutoItParseHeadersToSciTE()PasswordValidPasteBinPosts Per DayPreExpandProtect GlobalsQueue()Resource UpdateResourcesExSciTE JumpSettings INISHELLHOOKShunting-YardSignature CreatorStack()Stopwatch()StringAddLF()/StringStripLF()StringEOLToCRLF()VSCROLLWM_COPYDATAMore Examples...

Updated: 04/09/2015

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No problem.  I appreciate your listening, and I understand your responses.  Thanks!

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#14 ·  Posted (edited)

We should use preprocessor and #define for constants to avoid AutoIt to resolve the variable names.

Edited by funkey

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to
build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe
trying to produce bigger and better idiots.
So far, the Universe is winning.

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We should use precompiler and #define for constants to avoid AutoIt to resolve the variable names.

I created PreExpand, but it's still in the works as I was not happy with the first incarnation. I also think you mean preprocessor.

_AdapterConnections()_AlwaysRun()_AppMon()_AppMonEx()_BinaryBin()_CheckMsgBox()_CmdLineRaw()_ContextMenu()_ConvertLHWebColor()/_ConvertSHWebColor()_DesktopDimensions()_DisplayPassword()_DotNet_Load()/_DotNet_Unload()_Fibonacci()_FileCompare()_FileCompareContents()_FileNameByHandle()_FilePrefix/SRE()_FindInFile()_GetBackgroundColor()/_SetBackgroundColor()_GetConrolID()_GetCtrlClass()_GetDirectoryFormat()_GetDriveMediaType()_GetFilename()/_GetFilenameExt()_GetHardwareID()_GetIP()_GetIP_Country()_GetOSLanguage()_GetSavedSource()_GetStringSize()_GetSystemPaths()_GetURLImage()_GIFImage()_GoogleWeather()_GUICtrlCreateGroup()_GUICtrlListBox_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_CreateArray()_GUICtrlListView_SaveCSV()_GUICtrlListView_SaveHTML()_GUICtrlListView_SaveTxt()_GUICtrlListView_SaveXML()_GUICtrlMenu_Recent()_GUICtrlMenu_SetItemImage()_GUICtrlTreeView_CreateArray()_GUIDisable()_GUIImageList_SetIconFromHandle()_GUIRegisterMsg()_GUISetIcon()_Icon_Clear()/_Icon_Set()_IdleTime()_InetGet()_InetGetGUI()_InetGetProgress()_IPDetails()_IsFileOlder()_IsGUID()_IsHex()_IsPalindrome()_IsRegKey()_IsStringRegExp()_IsSystemDrive()_IsUPX()_IsValidType()_IsWebColor()_Language()_Log()_MicrosoftInternetConnectivity()_MSDNDataType()_PathFull/GetRelative/Split()_PathSplitEx()_PrintFromArray()_ProgressSetMarquee()_ReDim()_RockPaperScissors()/_RockPaperScissorsLizardSpock()_ScrollingCredits_SelfDelete()_SelfRename()_SelfUpdate()_SendTo()_ShellAll()_ShellFile()_ShellFolder()_SingletonHWID()_SingletonPID()_Startup()_StringCompact()_StringIsValid()_StringRegExpMetaCharacters()_StringReplaceWholeWord()_StringStripChars()_Temperature()_TrialPeriod()_UKToUSDate()/_USToUKDate()_WinAPI_Create_CTL_CODE()_WinAPI_CreateGUID()_WMIDateStringToDate()/_DateToWMIDateString()Au3 script parsingAutoIt SearchAutoIt3 PortableAutoIt3WrapperToPragmaAutoItWinGetTitle()/AutoItWinSetTitle()CodingDirToHTML5FileInstallrFileReadLastChars()GeoIP databaseGUI - Only Close ButtonGUI ExamplesGUICtrlDeleteImage()GUICtrlGetBkColor()GUICtrlGetStyle()GUIEventsGUIGetBkColor()Int_Parse() & Int_TryParse()IsISBN()LockFile()Mapping CtrlIDsOOP in AutoItParseHeadersToSciTE()PasswordValidPasteBinPosts Per DayPreExpandProtect GlobalsQueue()Resource UpdateResourcesExSciTE JumpSettings INISHELLHOOKShunting-YardSignature CreatorStack()Stopwatch()StringAddLF()/StringStripLF()StringEOLToCRLF()VSCROLLWM_COPYDATAMore Examples...

Updated: 04/09/2015

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I created PreExpand, but it's still in the works as I was not happy with the first incarnation. I also think you mean preprocessor.

Yes I mean preprocessor, sorry.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to
build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe
trying to produce bigger and better idiots.
So far, the Universe is winning.

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Good morning all!

I was perusing through your BCP.  I wanted to make a comment about the Magic Numbers portion.  I agree that giving values a "name" via a variable often helps to identify the meaning.  But I'd also like to add that I very often have lines that may embed multiple or long functions, and I actually find it easier to use the number+number+number method, rather than using the actual variables, to save space.

I'll use msgbox as an example:

iVar = msgbox(3+16,"title","my message")

which says I want "Yes, No, Cancel" buttons, and a stop sign icon.  If I forget what 3 and 16 are, I can just pull up msgbox in help to quickly find them.

It's great that you have the representative variables, but it would be nice to see them listed on the help pages for those of use who prefer to use them.

 

You should generally use, BitOr instead of adding the magic numbers. Not using magic numbers is a trade off. There will always be pros and cons. Not including the values in the help file is quite incomprehensible to me since it is a help file and including them is very helpful. Removing them is a hinderance.

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"magic numbers" or predefined constants ("magic letters") is not question - it's not matter if you know what you doing. Question is documentation. Help is not quiz.

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From now on any magic numbers I use will be converted to hexadecimal, because it's so difficult to understand decimal. 0x :idea:

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#20 ·  Posted (edited)

"it is 10 people in the world - who understand binary and who don't" :)

Edited by Iczer
1 person likes this

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