system quality aspect characterizing the ease of software maintenance

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133
votes
18answers
8k views

How to keep a big and complex software product maintainable over the years?

I have been working as a software developer for many years now. It has been my experience that projects get more complex and unmaintainable as more developers get involved in the development of the ...
121
votes
20answers
11k views

How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code?

How would one know if the code he has created is easily maintainable and readable? Of course in your point of view (the one who actually wrote the code) your code is readable and maintainable, but we ...
71
votes
19answers
5k views

Is it ok to replace optimized code with readable code?

Sometimes you run into a situation where you have to extend/improve some existing code. You see that the old code is very lean, but it's also difficult to extend, and takes time to read. Is it a good ...
67
votes
17answers
4k views

What hurts maintainability?

For someone who doesn't have much real world experience yet, the notion of maintainable code is a bit vague, even though it follows from typical good practice rules. Intuitively I can tell that code ...
65
votes
17answers
11k views

Coding Guideline : Methods shouldn't contain more than 7 statements?

I was looking through the AvSol Coding Guidelines for C# and I agree with nearly everything but I'm really curious to see what other think of one specific rule. AV1500 Methods should not ...
50
votes
9answers
6k views

Clean readable code vs fast hard to read code. When to cross the line?

When I write code I always try to make my code as clean and readable as possible. Every now and then there comes a time when you need to cross the line and go from nice clean code to slightly uglier ...
42
votes
11answers
8k views

What characteristics or features make code maintainable? [duplicate]

I used to think I knew what this was, until I really started thinking about it... "maintainable"... what exactly makes code maintainable? To me, if code must be maintainable that means we can expect ...
29
votes
10answers
3k views

Are flag variables an absolute evil?

Are flag variables evil? Are the following kind of variables profoundly immoral and is it wicked to use them? "boolean or integer variables that you assign a value in certain places then down ...
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Maintenance wise, is `else while` without intervening braces considered safe?

Is else while without intervening braces considered "safe" maintenance wise? Writing if-else code without braces like below... if (blah) foo(); else bar(); ...carries a risk because the ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

Is template “metaprogramming” in Java a good idea?

There is a source file in a rather large project with several functions that are extremely performance-sensitive (called millions of times per second). In fact, the previous maintainer decided to ...
23
votes
14answers
3k views

Why do so many developers believe performance, readability, and maintainability cannot coexist?

While responding to this question, I began to wonder why so many developers believe a good design should not account for performance because doing so would affect readability and/or maintainability. ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

Eliminating Magic Numbers: When is it time to say “No”?

We're all aware that magic numbers (hard-coded values) can wreak havoc in your program, especially when it's time to modify a section of code that has no comments, but where do you draw the line? ...
18
votes
7answers
752 views

How to improve the training of students regarding maintainability?

Maintainability is a major stake of professional software development. Indeed, maintenance is nearly always the longest part of a software life cycle, as it lasts from the project release until ...
17
votes
5answers
1k views

Fighting technical debt as the “lowest developer”?

Let's say you work for a company and what you do is develop software for them. You have no idea of the big picture or maybe slight. What you do have are tasks assigned to you via issue tracking ...
17
votes
4answers
583 views

What should plugins use: hooks, events or something else?

Consider an app that allows plugins to react to its program flow. I know 2 ways to achieve this: hooks and events 1. Hooks Use calls to empty functions inside the main program flow. These functions ...
15
votes
11answers
3k views

How does one meaningfully measure maintainability?

Context: I'm an enterprise developer in an all-MS shop. Can anyone recommend a good way of objectively measuring maintainability of a piece of code or an application? Why maintainability: I'm tired ...
14
votes
3answers
380 views

Does usage of advanced language features decrease maintainability? [duplicate]

On a code review, I've stumbled on an interesting idea, which I can't properly judge alone. Is it OK to improve readability of code by means of not widely known language syntax? When the original ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How to refactor code to some common code?

Background I'm working on an ongoing C# project. I'm not a C# programmer, primarily a C++ programmer. So I was assigned basically easy and refactoring tasks. The code is a mess. It's a huge project. ...
12
votes
5answers
538 views

Do high standards necessarily lead to frustration, and how to deal with it?

I consider myself a programming language enthusiast. When I find bad code, especially my own, it is hard to understand, hard to change, and hard to test. My coworkers don't know better, or don't ...
11
votes
3answers
584 views

What to do when your colleagues don't value code maintainability [duplicate]

I've been working in the same software development department for a few years now. In that time, the average stay of a developer has been 6-9 months. A handful have been around for over 2 years, but ...
10
votes
10answers
497 views

How to communicate with a co-worker that considers frameworks a performance hit

How can one sell an idea like "we should use jQuery because its highly optimized and cross browser compatible" or "entity framework is cool because its neat and takes care of our model automagically" ...
10
votes
5answers
667 views

Should you refactor existing code that is not broken in a project focused on new features?

Given a small project that aims to add new functionality to application, the changes introduced touch some existing code, involving updating these in certain areas. During implementation, I've found ...
9
votes
5answers
646 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
393 views

Programming paradigms and the maintenance developer [closed]

I was reading, Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, which has a section of maintenance. Since, I'm have been a maintenance developer for years now, I was very interesting facts presented. ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it necessary to write a javadoc comment for EVERY parameter in a method's signature?

One of the devs on my team believes that it is necessary to write a javadoc comment for EVERY parameter in a method's signature. I do not think this is necessary, and in fact I think it can even be ...
8
votes
1answer
403 views

Refactoring a 1500 LOC method that only builds the graphical UI [closed]

I'm currently scratching my head over how to refactor a method that basically only builds the UI. The method is more than 1500 lines of code (LOC) long - and counting. It has grown, there was no plan ...
8
votes
6answers
5k views

Automatic source code generation — good idea or potential nightmare?

In response to my question regarding Java source code generation, I received this answer warning me about potential maintenance problems: mixing auto-generated code always pose a risk of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How is technical debt best measured? What metric(s) are most useful? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I quantify the amount of technical debt that exists in a project? If I wanted to help a customer understand the degree of technical debt in his application, what ...
8
votes
1answer
315 views

Are there any empirical studies about the effects of commenting source code on software quality, maintainability and developer productivity? [closed]

I am an advocate of commenting on source code and documenting software products. It is my personal experience and observation that working on source code that is rigorously commented has helped me in ...
8
votes
1answer
444 views

Futures/Monads vs Events

In an application framework when performance impact can be ignored (10-20 events per second at max), what is more maintainable and flexible to use as a preferred medium for communication between ...
7
votes
8answers
573 views

What can I use to keep track of the status of 60 software projects, some of which are obsolete? [closed]

I've taken a software development role in an engineering company(all software developed is for internal use only). The company has about 60 individual projects from past developers. The problem is ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What to do when you inherit an unmaintainable codebase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Techniques to re-factor garbage and maintain sanity? I've inherited 200K lines of spaghetti code — what now? I'm currently working at a company with 2 other ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Does it make sense to compute cyclomatic complexity/lines of code ratio?

In general, maintainability index relies on many factors. For example, in Visual Studio, it rely on cyclomatic complexity, depth of inheritance, class coupling and lines of code; those four values ...
6
votes
4answers
253 views

What should I include in my repositiory from IDE projects

I want to add a project which in this case is created in Netbeans but this question is general for most IDE's. It's simply, what should I include in my repository. For example Netbeans creates a ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is the best way to approach visualization projects?

I work on several areas related to information visualization, linked data, computer vision and other stuff, so mainly front-end. I am not really happy with the fact that visualizations take lots of ...
5
votes
7answers
388 views

Scrum decision making versus maintainability and development time? [closed]

I appreciate that this question may be controversial. In a sense, it is the flip-side of the question "Business trying to make technical decisions". In Scrum, the development team is supposed to be ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

How to have a maintainable and manageable Javascript code base [closed]

I am starting a new job soon as a frontend developer. The App I would be working on is 100% Javascript on the client side. all the server returns is an index page that loads all the Javascript files ...
5
votes
3answers
477 views

Starting on a large project, should I split it into more concise parts?

Background: Currently an intern at a company and working on repurposing older programs (still in use, but for different departments) for use in testing new hardware. The new hardware is different in ...
5
votes
3answers
342 views

Filesystem like permissions for C++ type-members

Abstract (tl;dr) Please read the full question, this is awfully simplified: How can unix file permission style restrictions be applied to inter-type data/control flows, allowing fine-grained access ...
4
votes
4answers
318 views

Encapsulate standard C functions?

While studying the C programming language and learning safe practices, I'm inclined to write a layer of functionality over several parts of the standard library. This would serve two purposes: I ...
4
votes
5answers
355 views

Keep coding the wrong way to remain consistent? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Code maintenance: keeping a bad pattern when extending new code for being consistent, or not? To keep things simple let's say I am responsible for maintaining two ...
4
votes
3answers
261 views

How to avoid unmaintainable code when using SQL in an MVC setting?

I want to present a list of products to the user. This list is paginated and can be sorted by the user by product ID or product name in ascending or descending order. I am using an MVC setting, where ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

Deprecated Methods in Code Base

A lot of the code I've been working on recently, both professionally (read: at work) and in other spheres (read: at home, for friends/family/etc, or NOT FOR WORK), has been worked on, redesigned and ...
4
votes
2answers
178 views

Does the use of mongodb enhance extending/changing database driven applications?

When an application is created which need to store data, an SQL database is used very often. So did I in a lot of asp.net applications. The resulting applications have often an ORM like the entity ...
4
votes
2answers
797 views

Creating huge decision tree

I'm to write an event correlator. A fundamental part of the system will be a decision tree that recognizes the origin of the fault basing on recorded states and log files. Often many accidents will ...
4
votes
2answers
874 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

Can decoupling hurt maintainability in certain situations?

Can the fact that the business logic is mapped to interfaces instead of implementations actually hinder the maintenance of the application in certain situations? A naive example with the Java's ...
3
votes
9answers
636 views

Are all dirty fixes created equal? [closed]

I have seen some dirty code in my time. I have heard varied feedback about "dirty fixes" too: a) a dirty "fix" is not a fix b) some fixes dirtier than others but dirty fixes are not acceptable ...
3
votes
2answers
769 views

God Files versus Ravioli Code

Recently I asked a question about whether or not I should refactor my code. the responses I received were most definitely in the camp of going through with the refactoring due to the presence of a God ...
3
votes
4answers
378 views

Does it still make sense to think about effective code on micro scale in C++?

Early in my programming career I was in love with pointer twiddling, lean code, doing everything with as little layers of abstraction as possible and so on. The code was very C like I would say, close ...