Questions tagged [coding-standards]

Coding standards, or coding conventions, are sets of rules or guidelines designed to govern the process of code production in a software project. They're usually based on industry best practices or generally accepted conventions. They include naming conventions, style, prohibited features, and more.

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1094
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9answers
194k views

Where did the notion of “one return only” come from?

I often talk to programmers who say "Don't put multiple return statements in the same method." When I ask them to tell me the reasons why, all I get is "The coding standard says so." or "It's ...
211
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15answers
131k views

Is it wrong to use a boolean parameter to determine behavior?

I have seen a practice from time to time that "feels" wrong, but I can't quite articulate what is wrong about it. Or maybe it's just my prejudice. Here goes: A developer defines a method with a ...
263
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15answers
117k views

Do I need to use an interface when only one class will ever implement it?

Isn't the whole point of an interface that multiple classes adhere to a set of rules and implementations?
131
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10answers
81k views

Why do most of us use 'i' as a loop counter variable?

Has anyone thought about why so many of us repeat this same pattern using the same variable names? for (int i = 0; i < foo; i++) { // ... } It seems most code I've ever looked at uses i, j, k ...
22
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22answers
28k views

Self Documenting Code Vs. Commented Code

I had a search but didn't find what I was looking for, please feel free to link me if this question has already being asked. Earlier this month this post was made: http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/...
68
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11answers
8k views

Why are cryptic short identifiers still so common in low-level programming?

There used to be very good reasons for keeping instruction / register names short. Those reasons no longer apply, but short cryptic names are still very common in low-level programming. Why is this? ...
36
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10answers
42k views

Should I use switch statements or long if…else chains?

Often when I hear about the switch statement, its put off as a way to replace long if...else chains. But it seems that when I use the switch statement I'm writing more code that I would be just ...
103
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16answers
35k views

What is the benefit of not using Hungarian notation?

One of the things I struggle with is not using Hungarian notation. I don't want to have to go to the variable definition just to see what type it is. When a project gets extensive, it's nice to be ...
105
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47answers
55k views

Make a big deal out of == true?

There is a colleague of mine who constantly writes: if (someBool == true) It drives me up the wall! Should I make a big deal of it or just drop it?
33
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4answers
22k views

Usage of magic strings/numbers [closed]

This is somewhat controversial topic, and I guess there is as many opinions as there are programmers. But for the sake of it, I want to know what are the common practices in business (or in your work ...
69
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20answers
23k views

Using single characters for variable names in loops/exceptions [duplicate]

I've had a couple of discussions with a co-worker about the use of single letter variable names in certain circumstances inside our codebase, at which we both disagree. He favours more verbose naming ...
14
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4answers
2k views

Are there any actual drawbacks to self-referential method chaining?

I recently suggested a method of chaining be implemented for a certain class in a certain project so readability of the code could be improved. I got a "fluent interfaces should not be implemented ...
36
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10answers
6k views

Eliminating Magic Numbers: When is it time to say “No”?

We're all aware that magic numbers (hard-coded values) can wreak havoc in your program, especially when it's time to modify a section of code that has no comments, but where do you draw the line? ...
118
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6answers
140k views

Method vs Function vs Procedure

Simple question, but I often hear these three terms defined with such ferocity, but which have been known to me to mean different things over the years. What are the "correct" definitions of "...
51
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4answers
18k views

if ('constant' == $variable) vs. if ($variable == 'constant')

Lately, I've been working a lot in PHP and specifically within the WordPress framework. I'm noticing a lot of code in the form of: if ( 1 == $options['postlink'] ) Where I would have expected to see:...
12
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1answer
8k views

Database Application Design Best Practices [duplicate]

Once upon a time it was common practice for both the business logic and database logic to be written in the same language (eg PL/SQL, Transact SQL, etc), more recently the practice is to separate the ...
598
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9answers
215k views

Why is 80 characters the 'standard' limit for code width?

Why is 80 characters the "standard" limit for code width? Why 80 and not 79, 81 or 100? What is the origin of this particular value?
120
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5answers
90k views

Excessive use “final” keyword in Java [duplicate]

While I understand what the final keyword is used for in the context of classes and methods as well as the intent of its use for in regards to variables; however, the project I just started working on ...
19
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11answers
51k views

Recommended .NET / C# coding standards? [closed]

What coding standards do you think are important for .NET / C# projects? This could be anything from dealing with curly braces and spacing and pedantry like that. Or it could be more fundamental ...
34
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20answers
4k views

What should be in a coding standard? [closed]

What should be in a good (read:useful) coding standard? Things the code should have. Things the code shouldn't have. Should the coding standard include definitions of things the language, compiler, ...
31
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10answers
9k views

Does your company have a coding standard? [closed]

I recently saw that Microsoft released a coding standards document (All-In-One Code Framework Coding Standards) and it got me thinking... The company that I work for has no formal coding standards at ...
31
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16answers
2k views

What parts of your coding standard contribute to quality code? [duplicate]

In response to This Question, I ask: What are the best parts of your coding standard? What are the best practices that help with code quality, reliability, maintainability, readability, etc. ...
39
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5answers
8k views

The problems with Avoiding Smurf Naming classes with namespaces

I pulled the term smurf naming from here (number 21). To save anyone not familiar the trouble, Smurf naming is the act of prefixing a bunch of related classes, variables, etc with a common prefix so ...
18
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8answers
4k views

What is the appeal of Systems Hungarian? [closed]

In What naming guidelines do you follow?, the author says: Also I prefer to code using hungarian notation from Charles Simonyi. I've run in to several programmers who still prefer to use Hungarian,...
4
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4answers
4k views

Coding convention regarding the usage of underscores [closed]

There seems to be divided opinion on this subject, and I wanted to get people's insights on whether they've found using underscore prefixes and suffixes to be helpful with coding or not. You know, ...
86
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20answers
26k views

How important is it to reduce the number of lines in code?

I am a Software developer who works on J2SE (core java). Often during our code reviews we are asked to reduce the number of lines in our code. It's not about removing redundant code, it's about ...
47
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18answers
31k views

What is proven as a good maximum length of a function? [closed]

Does function length affect the productivity of a programmer? If so, what is a good maximum number of lines to avoid productivity loss? Since this is a highly opinionated topic please back up the ...
22
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6answers
9k views

Unit test coding standards

Usually when talking about coding standards we refer to the code of the program itself, but what about the unit tests? Are there certain coding standards guidelines that are unique to unit tests? What ...
17
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8answers
4k views

In C and C++, what methods can prevent accidental use of the assignment(=) where equivalence(==) is needed?

In C and C++, it is very easy to write the following code with a serious error. char responseChar = getchar(); int confirmExit = 'y' == tolower(responseChar); if (confirmExit = 1) { exit(0); } ...
19
votes
3answers
7k views

What package name to choose for a small, open-source Java project? [closed]

I'd like to publish a small open-source library in Java. I wonder what package name should I choose? I'm not a company and I don't have a domain that I could use as the basis for naming the package ...
9
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5answers
3k views

Why should a HashMap be used(in functions) to determine which value to return(for a key) when an if else construct can do the job in better time?

While I was recently working at a big company, I noticed that the programmers there followed this coding style: Suppose I have a function that returns 12 if the input is A, 21 if the input is B, and ...
92
votes
5answers
97k views

Naming classes, methods, functions and variables [duplicate]

There are 3 important naming conventions: with_underscores PascalCased camelCased Other variants are not important because they are not commonly used. For variables it seems that the one with ...
76
votes
56answers
29k views

Worst coding standard you've ever had to follow? [closed]

Have you ever had to work to coding standards that: Greatly decreased your productivity? Were originally included for good reasons but were kept long after the original concern became irrelevant? ...
69
votes
16answers
7k views

Recommendations for teaching junior programmers good coding style [duplicate]

I am a big fan of good coding style, producing clean, clear code that runs well and is easy to use and integrate into larger systems. I believe that we programmers are essentially craftspeople who ...
128
votes
19answers
14k views

Can a function be too short?

Whenever I find myself writing the same logic more than once, I usually stick it in a function so there is only one place in my application I have to maintain that logic. A side effect is that I ...
46
votes
8answers
11k views

When is it appropriate to make a separate function when there will only ever be a single call to said function? [duplicate]

We are designing coding standards, and are having disagreements as to if it is ever appropriate to break code out into separate functions within a class, when those functions will only ever be called ...
23
votes
7answers
49k views

Avoid too complex method - Cyclomatic Complexity

Not sure how to go about this method to reduce Cyclomatic Complexity. Sonar reports 13 whereas 10 is expected. I am sure nothing harm in leaving this method as it is, however, just challenging me how ...
37
votes
13answers
21k views

Do you prefix variable names with an abbreviation of the variable types? (Hungarian Notation) [closed]

In my current job, there are no coding guidelines. Everyone pretty much codes the way he wants. Which is fine, since the company is small. However, one new guy recently proposed to always use ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

What good reasons are there to capitalise SQL keywords?

There seem to be a lot of developers who write their SQL by capitalising the keywords: SELECT column FROM table INNER JOIN table ON condition WHERE condition GROUP BY clause HAVING ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Naming a “do X if needed” method

What is a good way to name a method that checks if X needs to be done, and does X it if necessary? For example, how to name a method that updates a user list if new users have logged in? ...
11
votes
3answers
9k views

When comparing a string variable to a string literal with .equals(), is there a standard practice for the order of items? [closed]

There are benefits to each and I understand the differences, but what is considered best / standard practice? And why? For example : "myString".equals(myStringVar) Avoids a potential NPE and does ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Are 'edited by' inline comments the norm in shops which use revision control?

The senior dev in our shop insists that whenever code is modified, the programmer responsible should add an inline comment stating what he did. These comments usually look like // YYYY-MM-DD <User ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Evolution in coding standards, how do you deal with them?

How do you deal with evolution in the coding standards / style guide in a project for the existing code base? Let's say someone on your team discovered a better way of object instantiation in the ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Is the use of one-letter variables encouraged? [closed]

Is the use of one-letter variables encouraged in Java? In code snippets or tutorials, you often see them. I cannot imagine using them is encouraged because it makes the code relatively harder to read ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Can there be too much uniformity in coding standards?

Is there such a thing as too much uniformity? Where I work we of course have standards including naming conventions, architectures, frameworks to leverage etc. However lately there has been a lot of ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Java naming conventions vs. C++/C naming conventions

I am a Java developer who is starting to pick up more and more C++/C (yes I know they're different, bear with me). One thing that struck me as odd was the different naming conventions used by these ...
6
votes
6answers
12k views

What to use instead of IDs in selectors in CSS

I recently installed a csslint package for my Atom text editor. I keep getting warnings saying "Don't use IDs in selectors." I found this weird since I've always been using IDs in selectors in CSS, ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

invoking methods within a conditional expression

In an oft-cited (if dated) reference for C# coding standards (pdf; from Lance Hunt), the statement is made, 33. Avoid invoking methods within a conditional expression. I've not seen this ...
145
votes
17answers
35k views

Coding standard for clarity: comment every line of code?

I've worked in shops that produce life critical software and I've dealt with commenting rules that were meant to keep the code readable and potentially save lives. In my experience though the ...
60
votes
18answers
27k views

Working on someone else's code [closed]

I have hardly a year's experience in coding. After I started working, most of the time I would be working on someone else's code, either adding new features over the existing ones or modifying the ...