Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun computing, informal Anything old or of inferior quality.
  • noun computing, informal Redundant, old or improperly written code, especially that which accumulates over time; clutter.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Uncertain: possibly from Cruft Hall, the name of the radar laboratory of Harvard's physics department during the Second World War, which contained much old and unused technical equipment; possibly a blend of crust and fluff, both of which suggest things that are obsolete and superfluous; possibly a modified form of crust.

Examples

  • I mean, I feel better when I get my schedule and todo items recorded and not cluttering my brain, I wonder what other cruft is knocking around up there.

    Minor Observations

  • As a result, many of us have thousands of old, unneeded files -- a.k.a. "cruft" -- cluttering our hard drives.

    PCWorld

  • As a result, many of us have thousands of old, unneeded files -- a.k.a. "cruft" -- cluttering our hard drives.

    PCWorld

  • Magic Signatures correctly eschews all the usual X. 509 cruft, which is completely unnecessary here; all you need is a simple RSA public key.

    Planet XML

  • Ignoring the indirect syscall cruft we the call the handler and the real work of the syscall is executed.

    Planet Sun

  • My personal preference would be to get rid of the "cruft" (cute word, that).

    Discourse.net: Sorry About the PopUp

  • The jargon file discusses it, but everything it says about 'cruft' looks off to me.

    languagehat.com: UNKNOWN TO DICTIONARIES.

  • As the entry points out, 'cruft' was in the TMRC dictionary, which is about as old as we are.

    languagehat.com: UNKNOWN TO DICTIONARIES.

  • The elimination of the text or "cruft" from the search results page, leaving a mosaic of images.

    PCMag.com: New Product Reviews

  • The elimination of the text "cruft" also means that the metadata will only show up as a user hovers over the image result.

    PCMag.com: New Product Reviews

Comments

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  • "Cruft" is a word used by programmers to describe "an old mess which gets in the way." A programmer might say to another: "I'll fix that bug just as soon as I remove all the cruft in the function."

    March 27, 2009

  • "Cruft is computing jargon for "code, data, or software of poor quality", according to the Hacker's Dictionary.

    "Man, I have to clean up all this cruft first before I write a clean implementation."

    April 17, 2009

  • cruft is used in the context of software development to indicate dead code or data, i.e., code or data fragments that are no longer used.

    September 30, 2009

  • I just used 'cruft' in a non-technical conversation, not realizing this was only techie jargon. It was crystal clear from my context what the meaning was, so I didn't even get a funny look.

    April 9, 2010