= S =
sanity check n.
[very common] 1. The act of checking a
piece of 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). 3. Conversationally, saying
"sanity check" means you are requesting a check of your
assumptions. "Wait a minute, sanity check, are we talking about
the same Kevin here?"
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.