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A banana problem, in IT, describes an algorithm, piece of code or technology artifact that has vague delimiters or problems with definition or scope. A banana problem may be similar to a fencepost error, which is described as a “problem with the discrete equivalent of a boundary condition.”
In a banana problem, it is difficult to tell where a program is supposed to stop. The phrase comes from a joke about the word banana, in which a child says: “I know how to spell banana, but I don’t know when to stop.” Likewise, in a conventional fencepost error, people or machines make mistakes on estimating where a boundary is. Programs with iterative loops can be vulnerable to fencepost errors, where a designer or developer miscounts and causes a code problem. The term “banana problem” can be used loosely to refer to a range of similar design problems.