I recently noticed a number of articles from here ending up on a popular code shaming website, codecrap.com.

Now, I imagine no harm is meant, but I would just like to urge people against doing this. The purpose of this SE is to let people (who have a willingness to improve) show their code and ask for guidance.

It is unfair and discouraging to make fun of them. We were all beginners at one stage (I used to abuse design patterns..)

In my opinion, those websites are to show laziness and disregard in legacy systems or simply code from people why are sufficiently experienced they should know better.

There is a huge difference between that a lack of knowledge of the correct means of accomplishing a task.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't hang around CodeCrap, so I don't know, but doesn't that make us some kind of free advertising? Even people on StackOverflow hardly know about CR. Isn't this visibility somewhat welcome? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 16:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, +1, we are already tough enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – konijn
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @lol.upvote well I have always been a bit irrationally skittish about posting my code for fear of ridicule, luckily my desire to improve outweigh's it. Not the same for everyone and I think even the risk of having a legitimate request for help be considered a display of stupidity would turn away a number of potential members. probably those that need help the most too. IMO.. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @apieceoffruit Good point. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 17:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ My assumption is that anyone can do this at any time. Unfortunately, I have no power over this as it's a third-party website. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jamal
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 17:39

3 Answers 3


Mea Culpa

(For those of you who don't know Latin, that means "I'm guilty" / "My fault")

I have to admit that I was the one who posted at least one question on codecrap. I might have posted a second one, but I can't remember which one. If there are more than that though, there's been someone else.

Consider this post an apology, and an explanation.

I have been a fan of codecrap.com for a while. I think that codecrap.com played a big part of why I started to put high value in clean code and a big reason for why I started visiting Code Review in the first place.

I have not considered codecrap.com as a way to make fun of other programmers. I have seen it as examples of what not to do when you code and I have really enjoyed looking at many of the posts on that site. We all write, or have written, "crap" one day or the other. The reason for why I included a link to Code Review in a post is that I wanted to show this is how it is supposed to be done. I believe many askers on Code Review are perfectly aware that their code either is, or might be, more or less crap (Isn't that exactly why we are here?)

I will of course not post any more questions from CR on codecrap. My intention was not to humiliate anyone. My intention was also not to make any copyright infringements. My intention was simply to show the visitors on codecrap: This is how it is done / There is always the possibility to refactor.

I will, however, happily post my own code on codecrap when (not if) I write something that could belong there (only a matter of time before I mix up x and y again). I also might comment somewhere with comments like "+1 for not wanting your code to end up at codecrap.com", "Your code here reminds me a bit of this post on codecrap.com. Thank you for coming here! You are not alone!"

To anyone who I might have offended: I'm sorry. I did not think enough.

^^ Bottom line is:

I have learned from my mistake and will not post questions from CR to codecrap again.


Unless the original author owner cross-posted the code to codecrap.com (unlikely) or codecrap.com abides by our Creative Commons license (which doesn't seem to be the case), it's copyright violation. I don't see who would go about enforcing it, though. I doubt Stack Exchange would get involved unless codecrap.com systematically copied a significant portion of our questions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's actually quite interesting stuff there, most of the highest upvoted fragments seem to be from the (now deleted) "Best comment you've seen in source code" question on Stack Overflow. I think somebody should ping the team and make them aware of that site. I don't think that there's much to be done, but making them aware of it sounds like a very good idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobby
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Scratch my comment now that we know what's going. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobby
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 12:01

What is wrong with codecrap.com?

Nothing in particular, except it does not have a clear mission. The headline only reads

Where developers go to laugh and cry.

and that can mean many things. But I know one thing: It is incompatible with Code Review, we don't come here to laugh or cry, we come here to make ourselves and others better. People coming to Code Review know that there's something wrong with their code and come here to find out what. I have yet to see a user who did not appreciate the help and tips we gave 'em and wasn't willing to learn. On CodeCrap.com, it's not clear what purpose the site serves at all.

We do not even know who owns that site as the domain was registered via a proxy company.

Why posting code from Code Review on CodeCrap.com or similar sites puts you between a rock and a hard place.

The license for taking anything from Code Review is CC-BY-SA, so you're required to add a link back to the Code Review question. That way you open up the code and the OP for an out of context forming of an opinion. Is this bad? Not necessarily, but someone who does not know Stack Exchange might be tempted to do something stupid, like making an account and leaving stupid comments or downvoting the original question or reposting the code somewhere else without following the license.

Additionally only posting the code and removing all of OP's statements about their own code does not help in any way, as it leaves the code completely without context. The OP is aware that the code is not good, only posting the code removes that important statement completely.

We do not know the license of CodeCrap.com.

This is a minor problem, though. There's not a single license statement on CodeCrap.com, nothing that tells us what license these code samples are under. But it's propagated on Twitter and Facebook, and it' not guaranteed that the license of the posted content will be followed.

Code posted on Code Review is not crap per se.

Calling code that has been posted on Code Review "crap" is...not fair to say the least. The code might be crap, but calling it that (and only that) in the aspect that the coder came here to correct exactly that is not fair at best. We all wrote such code at some point, the important point is that we moved past it and now write better code.

We did not come here to say "that code is crap", but to say "that code is crap, but let me show you why and how to do better".

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, but... Has anyone said that "Code posted on Code Review is crap"? *Looks at my answer again to make sure I didn't say that...* \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 22:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SimonAndréForsberg: No, but posting it to codecrap.com implied that for me. Also, just to make sure, this is not directed into your direction in any way, it was sparked by your answer but is meant as a general...ahrm, advice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bobby
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 22:58

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