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Write programs that produce crazy, obscure, ridiculous, or just plain nutty runtime errors. Obfuscation and golfitude (shortness) not required.

  • solutions that look like they should work fine are better.
  • solutions that look like they should break one way but break another are better.
  • solutions that are nondeterministic are better as long as they are reproducible sometimes.
  • solutions with long distance between error cause and manifestation are better.
  • bonus points for producing errors that should be impossible.
  • bonus points for errors that crash the runtime (like making python segment fault) or operating system.

The unit of score shall be upvotes.

Addendum 1

Compiler misbehaviors are fine too.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Making Python segfault is easy: import sys; sys.setrecursionlimit(~-2**31); x=lambda x:x(x); x(x); \$\endgroup\$ – marinus Aug 4 '12 at 1:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Peter: whoops. I repurposed the question half way through writing it :S \$\endgroup\$ – Wug Aug 5 '12 at 23:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...what about malbolge or INTERCAL? i'm pretty sure they'd have some pretty insane errors, probably can do it with a single char as well. \$\endgroup\$ – acolyte Aug 6 '12 at 21:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is definitely the best link to go for the solution: destroyallsoftware.com/talks/wat :-) \$\endgroup\$ – seri Aug 13 '12 at 17:50
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of stackoverflow.com/q/1146014/736054. \$\endgroup\$ – Konrad Borowski Jan 6 '14 at 12:29

32 Answers 32

2
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TeX

This simple TeX program:

\def~{x~}~

gives the following error in the log file:

! TeX capacity exceeded, sorry [main memory size=5000000].
l.1 \def~{x~}~

If you really absolutely need more capacity,
you can ask a wizard to enlarge me.

You better know which wizard it the right wizard :-)


TeX: second error message

This is a small LaTeX table with 260 columns, for which we want a cell that spans all the columns.

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{tabular}{*{260}{l}}
\multicolumn{260}{c}{Table Title}
\end{tabular}
\end{document}

The error message is also hilarious:

! This can't happen (256 spans).
<template> \endtemplate 

l.5     \end{tabular}

I'm broken. Please show this to someone who can fix can fix

How many programs are humble enough to admit they are broken?

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0
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Not to compete but Burlesque is pretty easy to crash :D.

blsq ) rs
blsq: Burlesque/Eval.hs:(2900,3)-(2904,33): Non-exhaustive patterns in case

and there are literally dozens of these crashes still hanging around. It's just that nobody ever reports them so they won't be fixed anytime soon.

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