n. 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).