Warning: this site is riddled with junk DNA

The newly relocated Friends of Charles Darwin website is riddled with junk DNA.

During the migration exercise from the old domain, I had to convert an awful lot of program code and data. Much of this I managed to automate, but I still ended up having to make a lot of changes by hand. Entire chunks of code were removed, others were inserted. I tried to rationalise and simplify wherever possible.

The result is, quite frankly, a bit of a mess. Yes, the new site seems to work reasonably OK, but the programs behind it contain literally dozens of snippets of code which I'm pretty sure are redundant. There are conditional statements whose conditions can never be met, declared variables which are never used, functions which are never called, and entire scripts which are never run. Or at least I think there are. It's sometimes difficult to tell whether it's safe to remove a piece of code, so I tended to err on the side of caution and leave the stuff in: code which is never run can't do much harm—inefficient and messy though it is.

To be honest, I take a perverse pleasure in the Friends of Charles Darwin's website containing so much junk code. It seems rather appropriate.

Not much sign of intelligent design around here!

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…

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