Readability measures how easy code is to read and understand.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

122
votes
13answers
27k views

Is it OK to split long functions and methods into smaller ones even though they won't be called by anything else? [duplicate]

Lately I've been trying to split long methods into several short ones. For example: I have a process_url() function which splits URLs into components and then assigns them to some objects via their ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

Boolean-Integer Typecasting to Replace Conditional

When choosing a value based off of 2 boolean values in this format var foo:int; if (X){ foo = 50; } else if (Y){ foo = -50; } else { foo = 0; } I discovered that I can condense this ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is relying on implicit argument conversion considered dangerous?

C++ has a feature (I cannot figure out the proper name of it), that automatically calls matching constructors of parameter types if the argument types are not the expected ones. A very basic example ...
3
votes
3answers
225 views

Is it correct to exclude argument names from function prototypes?

I was recently creating a small technical documentation for an application. The document is to be used by newly hired programmers to get acquainted with the application. It is much friendlier than the ...
5
votes
4answers
360 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
319 views

Leaving “Else” comments

Let's say I have a not-so-intuitive if statement in my code, but only if you're new to the codebase: def set_markets(markets=None): """ Will accept 'all' as markets to set all markets on. ...
6
votes
2answers
487 views

Java Generics - how to strike a balance between expressiveness and simplicity

I'm developing some code that utilizes generics, and one of my guiding principles was to make it usable for future scenarios, and not just today's. However, several coworkers have expressed that I may ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

Why Bootstrap 3 changes camelCase to dashes - is it more readable?

I'm wondering what's the reasoning behind Bootstrap's decision to change all camel case names into hyphenated names in v3.0. I searched on Google, and looked in a few books, but I can only find ...
8
votes
3answers
898 views

Is 'using' appropriate in a context where there is nothing to dispose?

In C#, using statement is used to dispose in a deterministic manner the resources without waiting for garbage collector. For example, it may be used to: Dispose SQL commands or connections, Close ...
12
votes
4answers
598 views

Emphasize negation

I was just writing an if statement with fairly long property names and came occross this problem. Let say we have an if statement like this: ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Descriptive naming vs. 80 character lines [closed]

I frequently hear these two valuable programming practices: (1) lines of code should be 80 characters or less and (2) use descriptive names for variables, methods, classes, etc. I understand the ...
19
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
403 views

Question regarding code readability

I would like to know, is it considered a common practice to use constructions like |=, &&, ||, != altogether in the single line of code? E.g. hasErrors |= vi2!=null && ...
8
votes
3answers
232 views

“static” as a semantic clue about statelessness?

this might be a little philosophical but I hope someone can help me find a good way to think about this. I've recently undertaken a refactoring of a medium sized project in Java to go back and add ...
-1
votes
2answers
639 views

Why is there never any controversy regarding the switch statement? [closed]

We all know that the gotostatement should only be used on very rare occasions if at all. It has been discouraged to use the goto statement countless places countless times. But why it there never ...
10
votes
6answers
876 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Distinguishing repetitive code with the same implementation

Given this sample code import java.util.ArrayList; import blackjack.model.items.Card; public class BlackJackPlayer extends Player { private double bet; private Hand hand01 = new Hand(); ...
54
votes
18answers
5k views

Are long methods always bad?

So looking around earlier I noticed some comments about long methods being bad practice. I am not sure I always agree that long methods are bad (and would like opinions from others). For example I ...
8
votes
3answers
668 views

What happens to programmers most oftenly while reading the code of others? [closed]

When reading others code do you usually have any troubles understanding it, Or its more usually that you question the others code about it being wrong/non-efficient/bad-formatted(etc)? Someone ...
-1
votes
1answer
290 views

Checking timeouts made more readable

I have several situations where I need to control timeouts in a technical application. Either in a loop or as a simple check. Of course – handling this is really easy, but none of these is looking ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Functional programming readability

I'm curious about this because I recall before learning any functional languages, I thought them all horribly, awfully, terribly unreadable. Now that I know Haskell and f#, I find it takes a little ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What defines code readability? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code? It is often said that readability is perhaps the most important quality-defining measure ...
4
votes
4answers
431 views

When should code favour optimization over readability and ease-of-use?

I am in the process of designing a small library, where one of my design goals is that the API should be as close to the domain language as possible. While working on the design, I've noticed that ...
16
votes
9answers
1k views

Hiding away complexity with sub functions

I am having a discussion on code style, and it's starting to sound like a "matter of taste". I strongly believe otherwise, so I'm writing this to get your opinion and learn from your arguments for and ...
15
votes
4answers
470 views

Studies on how well can a programmer understand code in unfamiliar languages? [closed]

Are there any serious studies on how well an experienced programmer who knows language X can understand code written by a competent programmer using language Y, for a good range of widely used ...
7
votes
6answers
691 views

Using empty subclasses to add to the semantics of a class hierarchy?

I was wondering whether using (almost) empty derived classes to give additional semantics to a class hierarchy was a good idea (or practice) ? Because a (not so short) example is always better than a ...
9
votes
5answers
804 views

Zero as a constant?

I have come across this programming idiom recently: const float Zero = 0.0; which is then used in comparisons: if (x > Zero) {..} Can anyone explain if this is really any more efficient or ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

Is C# becoming harder to read?

As C# has progressed, many language features have been added. It has come to the point where it's becoming unreadable for me. As an example, consider the following code snip from Caliburn.Micro code ...
33
votes
8answers
1k views

When using method chaining, do I reuse the object or create one?

When using method chaining like: var car = new Car().OfBrand(Brand.Ford).OfModel(12345).PaintedIn(Color.Silver).Create(); there may be two approaches: Reuse the same object, like this: public ...
36
votes
15answers
6k views

Is it bad practice to name an unused variable with a single underscore?

Often when the syntax of the language requires me to name a variable that is never used, I'll name it _. In my mind, this reduces clutter and lets me focus on the meaningful variables in the code. I ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Is use of finally clause for doing work after return bad style/dangerous?

As part of writing an Iterator, I found myself writing the following piece of code (stripping error handling) public T next() { try { return next; } finally { next = ...
7
votes
4answers
689 views

Readability of || statements

On HTML5 Boilerplate they use this code for jQuery: <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js"></script> <script>window.jQuery || ...
1
vote
3answers
207 views

Which of these looks cleaner?

I have wrote a small method in a program to do one thing my method looks like this: public static void removeExpiredAssignments(Module module){ module.removeExpiredAssignments(); } So the ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

while(true) and loop-breaking - anti-pattern?

Consider the following code: public void doSomething(int input) { while(true) { TransformInSomeWay(input); if(ProcessingComplete(input)) break; ...
176
votes
17answers
17k views

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

How would one know if the code one has created is easily readable, understandable, and maintainable? Of course from the author's point of view the code is readable and maintainable, because the author ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Need to make my code more readable to the other programers in my team

I am working a project in delphi 7 and I am creating a installer for the application, there are Three main parts. PostgreSQL installation/uninstallation myapplication ( setup of myapplication is ...
10
votes
4answers
795 views

Should we rename overloaded methods?

Assume an interface containing these methods : Car find(long id); List<Car> find(String model); Is it better to rename them like this? Car findById(long id); List findByModel(String ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

Trimming script size by using array notation for frequently accessed properties

I noticed some redundancy in a script I ran through Google Closure Compiler. (function(){function g(a){var k;if(a){if(a.call)a.prototype=j,a.prototype[e]={}}else a= {};var ...
8
votes
2answers
608 views

S-expressions readability

In a nutshell and for those who didn't know it, Lisp functions/operators/constructs are all uniformly called like this: (function arg0 arg1 ... argN) So what in a C-like language you would express ...
25
votes
15answers
2k views

Does simplicity always improve Readability?

Recently, I was developing a set of coding standards for our company. (We're a new team branching out into a new language for the company.) On my first draft, I set the purpose of our coding ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Parameter order: size, count or the other way round

I hope this is the right forum for this ... Well, in C, the standard library uses usually (void* buffer, int size) when referring to some data buffer. I wonder if there is a rationale for this order ...
23
votes
14answers
4k 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. ...
6
votes
6answers
354 views

Formatting 'Complex' Math

Note: by 'complex' math I mean an equation with many steps involved and a wide mix of operators. A programmer should know the order that operators are evaluated in an equation. However it can be a ...
12
votes
11answers
343 views

Should 'mathematical' functions follow mathematical notation?

I suppose this question is going to be immediately flagged as subjective, but which do you think is better: double volume(double pressure, double n_moles, double temperature) { return n_moles * ...
8
votes
5answers
414 views

When developing on an old code base, should I use Best Practices or go for Consistency [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Code maintenance: keeping a bad pattern when extending new code for being consistent, or not ? As my experience in programming increases with each project, I look back ...
45
votes
6answers
3k views

Refactoring into lots of methods - is this considered clean or not? [duplicate]

So, I watched as my colleague complained a bit about a project he has inherited from someone who is, shall we say, not very experienced as a programmer (intern left to his own devices on a project). ...
52
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
371 views

Run On Sentences in Technical Writing

This is just a question to think about. When you write technical documentation and programming comments, do you ever find yourself writing run-on sentences in order to be more precise? Is packing ...
6
votes
3answers
348 views

Fine Line: Readability Vs Speed [duplicate]

Is there a line between readability vs compile or processing speed? Aside from the extreme cases, I wouldn't think it would be even worth saving that little bit extra in favor of legibility... For ...