Coding style is a set of guidelines that helps readability and understanding of the source code.

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7
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3answers
1k views

Style for control flow with validation checks

I find myself writing a lot of code like this: int myFunction(Person* person) { int personIsValid = !(person==NULL); if (personIsValid) { // do some stuff; might be lengthy int myresult ...
137
votes
37answers
82k views

Should curly braces appear on their own line? [closed]

Should curly braces be on their own line or not? What do you think about it? if (you.hasAnswer()) { you.postAnswer(); } else { you.doSomething(); } or should it be if (you.hasAnswer()) { ...
103
votes
19answers
27k views

Should I return from a function early or use an if statement?

I've often written this sort of function in both formats, and I was wondering if one format is preferred over another, and why. public void SomeFunction(bool someCondition) { if (someCondition) ...
101
votes
22answers
9k views

Elegant ways to handle if(if else) else

This is a minor niggle, but every time I have to code something like this, the repetition bothers me, but I'm not sure that any of the solutions aren't worse. if(FileExists(file)) { contents = ...
84
votes
18answers
40k views

Are `break` and `continue` bad programming practices?

My boss keeps mentioning nonchalantly that bad programmers use break and continue in loops. I use them all the time because they make sense; let me show you the inspiration: function verify(object) ...
79
votes
10answers
21k 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, ...
27
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
55
votes
12answers
19k views

What is the ideal length of a method? [closed]

In object-oriented programming, there is no exact rule on the maximum length of a method , but I still found these two qutes somewhat contradicting each other, so I would like to hear what you think. ...
33
votes
10answers
4k views

Doesn't “if (0 == value) …” do more harm than good? [closed]

This is one of the things that I hate most when I see it in someone else's code. I know what it means and why some people do it this way ("what if I accidentally put '=' instead?"). For me it's very ...
19
votes
9answers
6k views

Style and recommendations of commenting code

I want to hear from you any advice and experience of writing comments in your code. How do you write them in the most easy and informative way? What habits do you have when commenting parts of code? ...
43
votes
10answers
8k views

Should I reuse variables?

Should I reuse variables? I know that many best practice say you should not do it, however later when different developer is debugging the code and have 3 variables that look a like and only ...
16
votes
12answers
12k views

int* i; or int *i; or int * i; [closed]

What is your favorite method to declare a pointer? int* i; or int *i; or int * i; or int*i; Please explain why. see also: http://www.stroustrup.com/bs_faq2.html#whitespace
35
votes
4answers
14k views

In Java, should I use “final” for parameters and locals even when I don't have to?

Java allows marking variables (fields / locals / parameters) as final, to prevent re-assigning into them. I find it very useful with fields, as it helps me quickly see whether some attributes - or an ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Clarification of “avoid if-else” advice [duplicate]

The experts in clean code advise not to use if/else since it's creating an unreadable code. They suggest rather using IF and not to wait till the end of a method without real need. Now, this if/else ...
70
votes
15answers
18k views

What's wrong with circular references?

I was involved in a programming discussion today where I made some statements that basically assumed axiomatically that circular references (between modules, classes, whatever) are generally bad. ...
44
votes
9answers
4k views

What's the right balance between code consistency and code improvement?

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague regarding code style. He was arguing that your usage of APIs and the general patterns you are using should be as similar as possible with the surrounding ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it bad practice to use short-circuit evaluation instead of an if clause? [duplicate]

I'm working on an installation script, and especially there I have many things that need to be checked and actions that only need to be performed in case of related outcomes. For example, a folder ...
81
votes
16answers
22k 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Should a function use premature returns or wrap everything in if clauses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where did the notion of “one return only” come from? Which is better? I see pros and cons for both, so I can't really decide on which one to stick to. Wrap ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the pattern name for using method chaining to build an object?

I frequently use a pattern where I using method chaining to setup an object, similar to a Builder or Prototype pattern, but not creating new objects with each method call, instead modifying the ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Best practice in setting return value (use else or?)

Whenever you want to return a value from a method, but whatever you return depends on some other value, you typically use branching: int calculateSomething() { if (a == b) { return x; } else ...
9
votes
2answers
349 views

Use an else after exception (or not)

Consider this bit of code: if (x == 1) { throw "no good; aborting" ; } [... more code ...] Now consider this code: if (x == 1) { throw "no good; aborting" ; } else { [... more code ...] } ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

In Java, should private helpers go above or below public methods? [closed]

I've noticed that a coworker and I have opposite practices regarding the ordering of methods in our Java classes. One of us begins a class with its major public methods, and then put all of the ...
6
votes
0answers
341 views

How to manage a relatively large one-man project? [duplicate]

I am basically working on https://github.com/KirisurfProject/ entirely alone. This is around 4000 lines of Go code, plus around 1000 lines of Racket (a Lisp) code for the GUI part; the equivalent in ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
258 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
362 views

How to mix different styles of programming on several languages?

I know that Senior Developer doesn't use only one language and only one platform or IDE. Can you advise how to mix different styles of programming to make efficient code? For example, best mixing is ...
64
votes
16answers
4k 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 ...
73
votes
20answers
13k 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 ...
42
votes
17answers
6k views

Why Use !boolean_variable Over boolean_variable == false

A comment on this question: Calling A Method that returns a boolean value inside a conditional statement says that you should use !boolean instead of boolean == false when testing conditions. Why? To ...
33
votes
11answers
5k views

Is it okay to make coding style changes on an open source project that doesn't follow best practices?

Recently, I came across a number of open source Ruby (or majority of it was Ruby) projects on GitHub that when checked with a code analyzing tool like Rubocop, create a lot of offenses. Now, most of ...
1
vote
2answers
445 views

How to set up something like an integration server that measures the quality of code and reject the code if the score is below a certain number?

Even if I don't like enforcing people to do things (and I believe that it may decline the productivity and cause anger), I really want to enforce good coding style. Is there a way to set up ...
25
votes
16answers
2k views

Are short identifiers bad? [closed]

Are short identifiers bad? How does identifier length correlate with code comprehension? What other factors (besides code comprehension) might be of consideration when it comes to naming identifiers? ...
30
votes
15answers
6k views

Space around operators? a=b/2; or a = b / 2; What are the arguments? [closed]

Personally I prefer space around operators. For me it makes the code much more readable. What are the arguments not have space around them? Line length? An example from the Python style guide (I ...
18
votes
7answers
11k views

What should my “code sample” look like? [closed]

I've just had quite a good phone interview (for a CakePHP-related position, not that it's especially important to the question). The interviewer seemed to be impressed with my resume and personality. ...
13
votes
14answers
692 views

Should we encourage coding styles in favor of developer's autonomy, or discourage it in favor of consistency?

A developer writes if/else blocks with one-line code statements like: if (condition) // Do this one-line code else // Do this one-line code Another uses curly braces for all of them: if ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

Single Line Statements & Good Practices

I have recently acquired a habit which I know many of you may frown upon, but which, in the end, helps me keeping an eye on global code structure rather than on the structure of a single, (sometimes) ...
5
votes
2answers
550 views

API/Technical Writers Guide [closed]

Is there any good book/tutorial/guide for programmers, which can help them to write good programming documentation/tutorials/guides?
4
votes
3answers
200 views

What could be some pitfalls in introducing a style guide and documentation generating software in a development team?

I'm considering using appledoc, a flavor of Doxygen for use in generating Objective-C code documentation, in order to create documentation for my company's iOS apps. The idea is that a server will ...
26
votes
12answers
5k views

Does anyone prefer proportional fonts? [closed]

I was reading the wikipedia article on programming style and noticed something in an argument against vertically aligned code: Reliance on mono-spaced font; tabular formatting assumes that the ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

What is the accepted style for using the `this` keyword in Java?

I come from languages like Python or Javascript (and others that are less object-oriented) and I am trying to improve my working knowledge of Java, which I know only in a superficial way. Is it ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the downsides of mixing tabs and spaces? [duplicate]

The advantage of using tabs for indentation is that people can configure their editor to use the tab width they are comfortable with. The only argument against this seems to be that people don't want ...
6
votes
3answers
518 views

Is the usage of internal scope blocks within a function bad style?

There are some (quite rare) cases where there is a risk of: reusing a variable which is not intended to be reused (see example 1), or using a variable instead of another, semantically close (see ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it a good idea to provide different function signatures that do the same thing?

Here is a C++ class that gets constructed with three values. class Foo{ //Constructor Foo(std::string, int, char); private: std::string foo; char bar; int baz; }; All of ...
9
votes
3answers
768 views

Should I nest functions in languages that allow me to do that or should I rather avoid it?

In JavaScript, PL/SQL and some other languages, functions can be nested, i.e. declared within another function. This could be used to break a large function into smaller pieces, but keep those pieces ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Keep my classes and methods as small as possible?

A few days ago, I was talking to a Software Engineering PhD candidate and at some point she said to me: Keep your classes and methods as small as possible And I wonder if this is always a good ...
17
votes
15answers
3k views

I hate one of our coding standards and it drives me insane, how to process it? [closed]

Disclaimer: Not as exaggerated as the title suggests, but it still makes me uncomfortable. I'm just going to express honestly, so take it with a grain of salt. Just pretend that I'm talking about that ...
5
votes
4answers
359 views

In which order should I do comparisons? [duplicate]

I'm a strong proponent of writing if statements like this: variable == constant Because to me it just makes sense, it is more readable than the inverted: constant == variable Which seems to be ...
107
votes
15answers
16k views

Is it always a best practice to write a function for anything that needs to repeat twice?

For myself, I can't wait to write a function when I need to do something more than twice. But when it comes to the things that only appear twice, it's a bit more tricky. For code that needs more than ...
61
votes
6answers
37k views

Why is trailing whitespace a big deal?

Trailing whitespace is enough of a problem for programmers that editors like Emacs have special functions that highlight it or get rid of it automatically, and many coding standards require you to ...