Drive A Programmer Nuts With This Diabolical Syntax Script

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Drive A Programmer Nuts With This Diabolical Syntax Script

This is one of those pranks for someone who’s enough of your friend to not murder you afterwards, but also kind of deserves a little pain. The Mimic script changes characters in a code file to alternative characters that look the same to human eyes, but completely screw up the syntax. I pity the victim.

You can find the script on Github.

The idea was based on a tweet a while ago, referencing a Greek symbol which looks like a semicolon. Mimic extrapolates on that idea to include many characters.


The creator has a few ideas on what you can do with it:

Fun games to play with mimic:
 
Pipe some source code through and see if you can find all of the problems
 
Pipe someone else’s source code through without telling them
 
Be fired, and then killed

My goodness, just look at this:

Of course, if the prankee decides to backspace a few times and rewrite any section of code, that’ll fix it. And if it works on one line, it’ll work on the others. That’s kind of a good thing, though — you wouldn’t want them to actually be stumped all day on it.

It could even let you continue the joke later on, without it getting old. Imagine a recurring situation in which everyone in the office can see the problem, except that one person. “Can’t you see the problem here? You have to rewrite this bit, this bit, this bit…”

Is there a term for programmer gaslighting?

Image via Shutterstock

Comments

  • This is one of those pranks for someone who’s enough of your friend to not murder you afterwards, but also kind of deserves a little pain.

    I think an easier method already exists, @junglist.

    Just walk to a programmer with a printout of a complex body of code the programmer has written and ask, “Are you sure?”

  • This is a far more techy and specific prank than what I use. I favour taking a screenshot of someones desktop, then making that their desktop wallpaper.

    Once its there, right click the desktop, go to view, and uncheck Show Desktop Icons. End result is basically replacing all their icons with identical fakes, same as this code prank. Queue endless merriment.

    Added bonus is when they ask you for advice to fix it and you do. You look like a genius.

      • <– public servant. So that’s a) something to get fired over, and b) thanks to our filters, not really possible. Though I’m sure there would be something that would serve the purpose that would be possible, but a) would be a real possibility.

        And you’d be surprised how many people fall for it still, even after 25 years of pranking with it.

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