132 votes
Accepted

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

Sounds nice, but I would prefer to have people responsible for committing code changes, not bots. Besides, you want to make absolutely sure that those changes do not break anything. For example, we ...
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  • 2,952
75 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

I would instead try to make it really easy for everyone in the team to apply automatic code formatting according to your team's standard directly inside your editor or IDE, to the current source code ...
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  • 185k
74 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

In a statically typed language, Javadoc-style documentation is not for the authors, it's for the consumers. Autogeneration simply makes it easier for the authors to maintain the documentation for ...
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37 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

It's a bad idea, not just because it discourages people from writing decent code, but also because the reformatting will show up as code changes in your VCS (you do use one I hope), masking the ...
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  • 9,725
28 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

I would tend to believe it is a good idea (to automatically run code formatters), but that is just my opinion. I won't run them periodically, but if possible before version control commits. With ...
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26 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation? From whose perspective? If I were running the company or the dev group, then there's no good reason. I am staunchly in the "comments ...
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  • 107k
21 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

EDIT: I misunderstood the original question; although I think generating documentation (i.e. non-code documents) can be extremely valuable (see original answer regarding Doxygen below), auto-...
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17 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

In general, I think it is a bad idea. In principle it's a valid idea, but it can be problematic in reality. Having the code formatter break your code is a real possibility, and it only takes one ...
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17 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

I think it's a bad idea. Many of the answers already covered that it dirties the history by making it difficult to pin down who actually added a line and that it encourages people to just commit ...
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16 votes
Accepted

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

[...] document everything, and almost always with GhostDoc's auto-generated docs. Do you do this, and are there any rational reasons not to simply leave code undocumented if you aren't going to ...
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  • 5,235
11 votes
Accepted

How do I test my code in Python other than by doing it by hand?

Method to test The method takes several arguments and returns a value, without using global state nor calling other parts of the application. It does one and one only thing. This is a good start. If ...
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11 votes
Accepted

How to have TFS automatically add certain tasks to new work items?

Important note There is no out-of-the-box feature for this, and usually I try to steer people away from generic tasks like "Test", "Deploy" and have them think about testing all the way through the ...
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  • 1,014
10 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

Yes, I think it's a bad idea. Don't get me wrong, the reason to do it sounds great, but the result could still be horrible. You will have merge conflicts when pulling a tracked branch, atleast I fear ...
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9 votes

How to monitor a long-running program programmatically

From your comments I see you have a client/server database available, and you uploader already has a connection and write access? Then it would probably be easiest to add a "monitoring" or "status" ...
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  • 185k
8 votes
Accepted

How to monitor a long-running program programmatically

What you need is a way to communicate between your programs that does not tie them to each other. There are a number of ways to do this, you could have the task write to a file and have to monitor ...
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  • 6,232
7 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

Certainly, automated documentation is particularly helpful when it can reproduce insightful, appropriate descriptions written by the code authors. Otherwise, it's just a glorified automatic formatter. ...
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7 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

It’s an awful idea. If one of my developer colleagues made gratuitous changes to source files, it wouldn’t pass a code review. It just makes life harder for everyone. Change the code that needs ...
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7 votes

Would it be a bad idea to periodically run code formatters on a repository?

Something I haven't seen mentioned is the fact that sometimes there are legitimate reasons to not format something according to a set of rules. Sometimes the clarity of the code is improved by going ...
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  • 4,808
7 votes

Why only scripting languages for automating tasks?

Scripting is automation. Scripting languages were specifically developed for automation tasks. They often have features that make scripting easy, e.g. simple mechanisms for invoking other programs or ...
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  • 124k
7 votes

Does linting without auto-correction make sense?

What would be the alternative? No linter at all, and thus no style fixes at all - except for the ones found during code reviews. But obviously - the latter have to be applied manually as well. So ...
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  • 185k
7 votes

The "real and effective" GIT CI/CD strategy

By having three repo you kind of have a branching strategy already but a complex one. I think you're not facing a technical issue but a cultural issue. Even if your solution is good (I think it is but ...
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  • 827
6 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

I don't know about other environments but when it comes to large (often open source) PHP projects that other people have written, phpXRef is an absolute life saver (especially if the doc is placed ...
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6 votes

Is there any logical reason to auto-generate code documentation?

In this form it's worse than useless but only because it relies on the public signature alone (which, in the case of Javadoc, is visible anyway to anyone reading the API doc). But it is possible to ...
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  • 3,351
6 votes

How do you adapt to changes to product specifications during development?

Your parser approach is definitely a step in the right direction. To deal with what you describe, you need to follow two well known software engineering principles as rigidly as possible: 1. Single ...
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  • 185k
6 votes

How to convert from TDD scripts to BDD?

In practice, you can´t, because the concepts of TDD and BDD are different. Although both test behavior, when you use TDD you create low-level testing to ensure your methods/function is working as ...
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  • 330
6 votes

What is needed to safely enable non-technical users to trigger automatic deployments?

It is actually more than just triggering the pipeline job to start. If the job fails how should we know if it's the bug from your artifact, resource shortage, or some transient error from the ...
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  • 3,052
5 votes

How to detect subtle changes in a website?

In general, that's why for everything involving automation, you don't interact with a web application through web interface, but, in general, through an API. If you try to access your own web ...
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5 votes

SBCL development on Windows, including CFFI

This is a little late, but as of about 2 months ago (05/2018) I found this project called Portacle which bundles SBCL, Emacs, Quicklisp, and more into a single package for Windows 10. All you have to ...
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5 votes

What advantages do daily builds provide specifically over continuous builds in practice?

I work on a very large project with dozens of software engineers, dozens of QA engineers, etc. Our codebase is several million lines of code. We have nightly builds and we have continuous builds. They ...
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  • 4,931
5 votes
Accepted

How do I automate build-publish tasks for my web server?

A Bash script is exactly how it happens in many companies. Avoid steps that you have to perform manually. Automate them so that you only have to kick off the process and can then sit back. Being able ...
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  • 124k

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