Talk:2200: Unreachable State

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 08:03, 11 September 2019 by (talk) (Note about undefined behavior and assertion failures.)
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When I tried to go here originally, it was unreachable. 03:54, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

nothing about the comic suggests a website. it looks more like the error message of a program. also, i don't think CB is typing it, just reading. 06:20, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

"Can't happen"

This comic is not about "a problem that the programmers did not anticipate", but rather a situation that the programmer rules out as impossible, which is technically called "Can't happen" or "Impossible Error" in the hacker/programmer's jargon. See

For example:

for ($i=1;$i<=5;++$i) {echo $i." - ";}
if ($i<10) {echo "Bye!";} else {echo "Can't happen!";}

ElfQrin (talk) 07:14, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Also it helps not to be too cute even with impossible error messages. A colleague left a message along the lines of Application rubbish bin has broken. once. Cue a somewhat perplexed user call several years later…

“Scientists have calculated that the chances of something so patently absurd actually existing are millions to one. But magicians have calculated that million-to-one chances crop up nine times out of ten.”

― Terry Pratchett, Mort

--Kventin (talk) 07:51, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

The "anything can happen" may be reference to undefined behavior in some programming languages (most famous are C and C++) And the error message is rather about assertion failure 08:03, 11 September 2019 (UTC)