sanity check

Computing Dictionary

sanity check definition

programming
1. Checking code (or anything else, e.g. a Usenet posting) for completely stupid mistakes. Implies that the check is to make sure the author was sane when it was written; e.g. if a piece of scientific software relied on a particular formula and was giving unexpected results, one might first look at the nesting of parentheses or the coding of the formula, as a "sanity check", before looking at the more complex I/O or data structure manipulation routines, much less the algorithm itself.
Compare reality check.
2. A run-time test, either validating input or ensuring that the program hasn't screwed up internally (producing an inconsistent value or state).
[Jargon File]
(1998-08-29)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: sanity
Next Definition: sanjak
Words Near: sanity check
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for sanity check
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing sanity check
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature