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(jargon, programming)
A misfeature of a system, especially a programming language or environment, that tends to breed bugs or mistakes because it both enticingly easy to invoke and completely unexpected and/or unreasonable in its outcome.

For example, a classic gotcha in C is the fact that

if (a=b) code;

is syntactically valid and sometimes even correct. It puts the value of "b" into "a" and then executes "code" if "a" is non-zero. What the programmer probably meant was

if (a==b) code;

which executes "code" if "a" and "b" are equal.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Smart multi-matter management is the solution to this gotcha.
Mingling with text are satisfying images: a map, a weathered newspaper article profiling the arrest of a New Yorker in Gotcha, and schemes for skimming road projects.
In the case of a GOTCHA, however, a computer program alone wouldn't be enough to break into an account.
Gotcha International Academy has recently moved to new premises in Pontyclun increasing the size of its current office by 50%, gaining two dedicated training rooms.
Adams will offer workshops for contractors to learn more about the Gotcha kit specially designed to help rescue workers latch on an extra safety line to a dangling mate using a 3 metre extendable pole and then quickly lower or raise the person to medical attention.
What is the link between the gotcha of the weekend before the 1992 presidential election, when former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was indicted, and the vitriol of the Republicans in the Clinton administration?
Picking your Gotcha Borgs is a bit like picking your monster in Pokemon.
These tokens can then be exchanged for treats at the Gotcha box, taking the form of concept artwork, monkey fables and in-game photos.
She tells of the desperate need folks had to own a piece of the cataclysm, "a hierarchical bragging of pain and knowledge" that expressed itself in gotcha contests such as "I saw the first plane
Comedy came in the guise of The Gotcha Hall of Fame (BBC1, 8.
Plainclothes officers direct another aspect of the Gotcha Program.