About The Contest
The first ever Olympiad of Misguided Geeks contest at Worse Than Failure (or OMGWTF for short) is a new kind of programming contest. Readers are invited to be creative with devising a calculator with the craziest code they can write. One lucky and potentially insane winner will get either a brand new MacBook Pro or comparable Sony VAIO laptop.
Entry #100035: PITAcalc Enterprise Edition
by Donald Straney
PITAcalc Enterprise Edition is an enterprise-ready, productivity-enhancing web-enabled calculator application which utilizes the very latest exciting technologies, including web services, distributed computing, and XML.
PITAcalc Enterprise Edition has a simple, clean, and uncluttered GUI representing the latest in usability research, which uses common operations familiar to every computer user, and is designed to drive you completely insane. Users are guaranteed to be banging their heads against their desks within 10 seconds flat. It's a PITA to use!(TM)
3. Underlying Technologies
The application is built on a core of highly reusable code, which is split into a separate frontend and backend following best IT practices. Why should the input and the actual calculation both be done on the same computer when a user could be entering numbers in the USA and have the results computed on a computer halfway across the world? The client and server communicate over a network connection and use sessions and an advanced XML-based protocol to transfer data. To ease the heavy load of adding 1 and 1 for the server and to reduce operation costs, results are precalculated and stored in a list for blazingly fast O(n) lookup.
But seriously...enough corporatespeak. All the problems (including the mixed C/C++ styles, messy code, bad server design, lack of error checking, strange protocol, and buffer overflows everywhere) really are intentional. Some people also might complain that the description above isn't totally accurate in some places (XML + remote processing doesn't quite equal a web service, or distributed computing), but since when have "enterprisey" marketing descriptions been totally accurate?