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Coding Standards

According to the dictionary, "standard" stands for “something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.” Now you may ask why we need to complicate our lives with the adoption of some coding standards. The answer to this question lies in the following pages.

Author Info:
By: Gabor Bernat
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 9
March 05, 2008
  1. · Coding Standards
  2. · The Advantages and Disadvantages
  3. · A Taste of Standards
  4. · More About Standards
  5. · Conclusions

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Coding Standards
(Page 1 of 5 )

In the pursuit of it, we will start with presenting the advantages and disadvantages of standard coding. For the sake of not just talking into the air, we shall also demonstrate some pure code examples, so you can see the difference(s). We are going to end this short trip into the world of standard codes by choosing the correct and recommended paths as far as "rebel" coding and standard coding are concerned.

Introducing the Standard Code

If the 20th century made the spreading of the education at a global scale possible via the schools, then in our era, with the extension of computers and the Internet, the software market has certainly risen. Information is no longer something that demands a great fortune or admission into a well-known college. Everyone can learn almost anything if s/he has the will power to sacrifice her/his free time. The Internet makes all information available and just a click away. Really good guides for programming in different languages are distributed all over the net like mushrooms after a warm summer rain. A multitude of new programmers, after their first contact with this business thanks to the online world, decided to take a share of it and become developers.

Nowadays coding can be learned by anyone. All you need is time and the right attitude. After passing through several pages of reading and a couple of months, you'll become a great programmer. But after you reach this stage, it is time to learn something else that will take your code to another level. Coding standards' most important benefits show up when you code in a team, but adopting it in your everyday programming is also very useful because this will result in a better understanding of your code by others. But in developer teams, adopting a standard of coding will offer much faster application creation and less effort for  bug-tracking/modifications.

From time to time it seems like everyone can code, but it's trickier to code the right and beautiful way. To start, we should define what the "right way" is. From the perspective of an outsider, in your code the right way is to write code that is efficient, reliable, and easily comprehensible. These attributes are very important for a few obvious reasons. The value of code increases with its reusability factor. More efficient code can be easily modified and/or extended by other people later on, even if you dug out an older code segment that you wrote a few years back. If you are really in the software programming business, then don't expect to remember every code snippet you wrote throughout your career. This way, code conforms to the Coding Standard, which can spare you time and effort in the future. Understanding foreign code and identifying the issues with it is the nightmare of a developer.

At its foundation, standard coding is a set of commonly accepted rules by people that make the above mentioned attributes for a code snippet possible. There are quite a lot of them. It depends on the coding language used or it may be a guideline promoted by Microsoft, or maybe not. In the following section, we shall inspect the advantages of a coding standard regardless of the upper sorting criteria.

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