Questions tagged [readability]

Readability measures how easy code is to read and understand.

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15
votes
4answers
555 views

Studies on how well can a programmer understand code in unfamiliar languages? [closed]

Are there any serious studies on how well an experienced programmer who knows language X can understand code written by a competent programmer using language Y, for a good range of widely used ...
14
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6answers
5k views

Why do many languages not support named parameters? [closed]

I was just thinking how much easier it would be to read code if, when calling a function, you could write: doFunction(param1=something, param2=somethingElse); I can't think of any drawbacks and it ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

Functional programming readability [closed]

I'm curious about this because I recall before learning any functional languages, I thought them all horribly, awfully, terribly unreadable. Now that I know Haskell and f#, I find it takes a little ...
14
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4answers
6k views

Is it wrong to use flags for “grouping” enums?

My understanding is that [Flag] enums are typically used for things that can be combined, where the individual values aren't mutually exclusive. For example: [Flags] public enum SomeAttributes { ...
14
votes
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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Which way to terminate reading loop is the preferred approach?

When you have to iterate a reader where the number of items to read is unknown, and the only way to do is it to keep reading until you hit the end. This is often the place you need an endless loop. ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Do sigils make source code easier to read?

In most programming languages, variables do not have identifying characters like they do in PHP. In PHP you must prefix a variable with the $ character. Example; var $foo = "something"; echo $foo; ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I write a test for a pure method which doesn't return anything?

I have a bunch of classes which deal with validation of values. For instance, a RangeValidator class checks whether a value is within the specified range. Every validator class contains two methods: ...
13
votes
4answers
657 views

Emphasize negation

I was just writing an if statement with fairly long property names and came occross this problem. Let say we have an if statement like this: if(_someViewModelNameThatIsLong....
13
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1answer
3k views

How to write readable Clojure Code?

I am new to Clojure. I can understand the code I write but it becomes too difficult to understand it later.It becomes difficult to match parentheses. What are the generic conventions to follow ...
11
votes
12answers
2k views

Maintainability of Boolean logic - Is nesting if statements needed?

Which of these is better for maintainability? if (byteArrayVariable != null) if (byteArrayVariable .Length != 0) //Do something with byteArrayVariable OR if ((byteArrayVariable != ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Which is more maintainable — boolean assignment via if/else or boolean expression?

Which would be considered more maintainable? if (a == b) c = true; else c = false; or c = (a == b); I've tried looking in Code Complete, but can't find an answer. I think the first is more ...
11
votes
10answers
427 views

Should 'mathematical' functions follow mathematical notation?

I suppose this question is going to be immediately flagged as subjective, but which do you think is better: double volume(double pressure, double n_moles, double temperature) { return n_moles * ...
11
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6answers
1k views

Need to make my code more readable to the other programers in my team

I am working a project in delphi and I am creating a installer for the application, there are Three main parts. PostgreSQL installation/uninstallation myapplication ( setup of myapplication is ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Code repetition vs multi responsible method

I try to follow the Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) and also to omit Code Repetitions. However there are often places where there are code repetitions that are nothing more than code blocks of ...
11
votes
3answers
355 views

“static” as a semantic clue about statelessness?

I've recently undertaken a refactoring of a medium sized project in Java to go back and add unit tests. When I realized what a pain it was to mock singletons and statics, I finally "got" what I've ...
10
votes
5answers
933 views

Can a pure-functional solution to this problem be as clean as the imperative?

I have an exercise in Python as follows: a polynomial is given as a tuple of coefficients such that the powers are determined by the indexes, e.g.: (9,7,5) means 9 + 7*x + 5*x^2 write a function to ...
10
votes
3answers
8k views

Is relying on implicit argument conversion considered dangerous?

C++ has a feature (I cannot figure out the proper name of it), that automatically calls matching constructors of parameter types if the argument types are not the expected ones. A very basic example ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

What defines code readability? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code? It is often said that readability is perhaps the most important quality-defining measure of a ...
9
votes
5answers
666 views

Is it possible to make long code representing a computation easier to read?

Long methods are generally considered bad, however in my code I have some hard-to-understand long methods (more than 50 lines). I have trouble making those methods easier to read because a single ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

Is nesting types considered bad practice?

As noted by the title, is nesting types (e.g. enumerated types or structures in a class) considered bad practice or not? When you run Code Analysis in Visual Studio it returns the following message ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is 'using' appropriate in a context where there is nothing to dispose?

In C#, using statement is used to dispose in a deterministic manner the resources without waiting for garbage collector. For example, it may be used to: Dispose SQL commands or connections, Close ...
9
votes
5answers
531 views

When developing on an old code base, should I use Best Practices or go for Consistency [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Code maintenance: keeping a bad pattern when extending new code for being consistent, or not ? As my experience in programming increases with each project, I look back at ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

S-expressions readability

In a nutshell and for those who didn't know it, Lisp functions/operators/constructs are all uniformly called like this: (function arg0 arg1 ... argN) So what in a C-like language you would express ...
8
votes
3answers
751 views

What happens to programmers most oftenly while reading the code of others? [closed]

When reading others code do you usually have any troubles understanding it, Or its more usually that you question the others code about it being wrong/non-efficient/bad-formatted(etc)? Someone ...
8
votes
3answers
210 views

Indentation in a multi-language file [closed]

In files that contain multiple languages (ie. template files), are there any best practises regarding indentation? I mostly use this: <div> IF FOO <div> <p>...
8
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it best to use “get” as a prefix for getters?

if I had a boolean (property) shouldAutoLogin is it better to name the getter getShouldAutoLogin or just shouldAutoLogin so that it reads more like English? ex : if(shouldAutoLogin){ ... } or ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

In Java, why use bit hacks when non-bitwise technique it is more readable?

Is there any legitimate use for bit manipulation hacks in higher-level languages such as Java? I can see them being useful in speed-sensitive low-level and computation-intensive programs, e.g. ...
8
votes
5answers
230 views

Gathering all data in single iteration vs using functions for readable code

Say I have an array of runners with which I need to find the tallest runner, the fastest runner, and the lightest runner. It seems like the most readable solution would be: runners = getRunners(); ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Java Generics - how to strike a balance between expressiveness and simplicity

I'm developing some code that utilizes generics, and one of my guiding principles was to make it usable for future scenarios, and not just today's. However, several coworkers have expressed that I may ...
7
votes
4answers
758 views

Readability of || statements

On HTML5 Boilerplate they use this code for jQuery: <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js"></script> <script>window.jQuery || document.write('<...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Using empty subclasses to add to the semantics of a class hierarchy?

I was wondering whether using (almost) empty derived classes to give additional semantics to a class hierarchy was a good idea (or practice) ? Because a (not so short) example is always better than a ...
7
votes
1answer
329 views

Why does FSharpLint suggest, “In F# code, use 'e1 || e2' instead of 'e1 or e2'”

If I write the expression, if not (expr1 or expr2) then value I get the following warning from FSharpLint, In F# code, use 'e1 || e2' instead of 'e1 or e2'. Why is using || preferred over using or? ...
7
votes
1answer
781 views

Restructuring a large Chrome Extension/WebApp

I have a very complex Chrome Extension that has gotten too large to maintain in its current format. I'd like to restructure it, but I'm 15 and this is the first webapp or extension of it's type I've ...
7
votes
1answer
447 views

Whether to abstract small repeating code segments in HTML templates?

(The framework used in question is AngularJS so the question can be translated as "Whether to introduce Directives for small repeating code segments in Views") As a developer who focuses on Java ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

When, if ever, should I daisy chain functions?

In a program divided up into many functions by which it is intended that they execute themselves one after another, when (if ever) is it preferred to: A) Execute the functions one after another in ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

DRY principle often makes my code more complicated and/or more difficult to understand [duplicate]

This often happens in my projects. Sometime I have this part of code that is very similar to this other part, yet a few lines makes it complicated to keep the code clean and without duplication. Here ...
6
votes
1answer
680 views

Use `ref` merely for clarification?

I wrote a FillSomeData(ParameterData param, Result res) method, which populates res with some data (just like it says on the label). Result is a class, not a struct, so FillSomeData actually affects ...
6
votes
3answers
693 views

Fine Line: Readability Vs Speed [duplicate]

Is there a line between readability vs compile or processing speed? Aside from the extreme cases, I wouldn't think it would be even worth saving that little bit extra in favor of legibility... For ...
6
votes
6answers
402 views

Formatting 'Complex' Math

Note: by 'complex' math I mean an equation with many steps involved and a wide mix of operators. A programmer should know the order that operators are evaluated in an equation. However it can be a ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Using lambdas to improve readability of a C++ function

I'm looking to improve the readability of a lengthy C++ function. This function contains a number (> a dozen) variables that are used throughout. The main logic of the code is a long list of condition ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

XML/HTML: Do we need the element name in closing tags?

Compared to other serialization languages, one of the main criticisms directed at XML is its verbosity; JSON's more terse and readable for most cases, but not all. But it seems to me that we could ...
5
votes
5answers
430 views

Question regarding code readability

I would like to know, is it considered a common practice to use constructions like |=, &&, ||, != altogether in the single line of code? E.g. hasErrors |= vi2!=null && vi2.hasErrors(...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some APIs simply throw Exception?

This year I started using several Third-Party-Libraries (all open source) and I noted that some throw exceptions in a proper way (i.e. declaring exactly which checked Exceptions can be thrown by a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I avoid using style like `for k, v in dict_sample.items()`?

Today I was viewing my colleague's code and I saw a function like this: def manager_skill_tree_func(*args, **kwargs): """# manage_skill_tree: Initialize the manage skill tree """ ...
5
votes
1answer
402 views

When designing a directory structure should filenames include folder names?

Suppose I have two directories: house-1 and house-2. Each house directory needs to have files describing its windows and doors. I am trying to understand how to name the files and directories. My ...
5
votes
2answers
361 views

Exception clutter, how necessary is it? [duplicate]

Let's say I have a few methods that access the File System, and I want them to be a bit robust, I want to throw errors so the user can react: If the file doesn't have read / write rights, I want to ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Using lookahead assertions in regular expressions

I use regular expressions on a daily basis, as my daily work is 90% in Perl (legacy codebase, but that's a different issue). Despite this, I still find lookahead and lookbehind to be terribly ...
5
votes
3answers
436 views

How to avoid falling into the trap of not commenting code? [duplicate]

I've been working on a project for about a month now. I am extremely familiar with the code and understand it to the extent where I feel that it is so easy to understand, that most methods don't need ...
4
votes
5answers
470 views

Is it a bad practice to use conditionals with functions that change program's state?

The title might be a bit vague, so let me explain. Let's assume we have a function that does something (changes state of the program), for example a function that creates a file. That function returns ...