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I've always tried to go the opposite route when reading code from others. I'm the first (well maybe not the first but I'm at least close enough up the front of the line to see the first) to admit when I don't understand it, and when I go ask the guys who wrote it, I make this clear.

Usually I find talking like this helps people admit when code is just bad or they try to clarify it. I've found it makes asking whether it's ok to do complete rewrites a lot simpler.

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