Thursday, July 06, 2006

Strong Coding Standards

Every programmer has its own coding style. All together, they can fragment the code like countries, each using a different language. Working on colleagues' code can quickly become a nightmare. While some programmers have difficulties to adapt to coding standards, you can't work effectively without it.

You should design your coding standards with some important things in mind :
- The primary goal of your coding standards should be readability. This is the most important, the code must be pleasant to work with.
- The type of the identifier should be obvious. At first glance, you should be able to know if it's a local variable, an object member,...
- Group by functionality. If you put all accessors in the same area of the file, it is easy to catch them. It's also easier to find what's exposed and what isn't.
- It should be easy to find files knowing a symbol ( Not all "intellisense"-like functionality works ).
- The coding standards should help ease the development of programming tools such as class generator, file cleaner, ... A include generator can speed up the process (it simply parses the file, searching for type, and includes needed files ).

The design of the coding standards is one of the most important things. It can really speed up your coding process as much as it can kill it.

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