130
votes
7answers
154k views

When do you use float and when do you use double

Frequently in my programming experience I need to make a decision whether I should use float or double for my real numbers. Sometimes I go for float, sometimes I go for double, but really this feels ...
129
votes
14answers
40k views

“Never do in code what you can get the SQL server to do well for you” - Is this a recipe for a bad design?

It's an idea I've heard repeated in a handful of places. Some more or less acknowledging that once trying to solve a problem purely in SQL exceeds a certain level of complexity you should indeed be ...
128
votes
34answers
6k views

How do you make people accept code review? [duplicate]

All programmers have their style of programming. But some of the styles are let’s say... let’s not say. So you have code review to try to impose certain rules for good design and good programming ...
128
votes
5answers
25k views

What exactly makes the Haskell type system so revered (vs say, Java)?

I'm starting to learn Haskell. I'm very new to it, and I am just reading through a couple of the online books to get my head around its basic constructs. One of the 'memes' that people familiar with ...
128
votes
17answers
39k views

Are #regions an antipattern or code smell?

C# allows the use of #region/#endregion keywords to make areas of code collapsible in the editor. Whenever I do this though I do it to hide large chunks of code that could probably be refactored into ...
124
votes
8answers
7k views

How do I get people to stop bikeshedding?

I have been tasked with teaching other teams a new codebase, but I keep running into an issue. Whenever I go to actually walk through the code with people, we don't get very far before the entire ...
124
votes
16answers
79k views

When are Getters and Setters Justified

Getters and setters are often criticized as being not proper OO. On the other hand most OO code I've seen has extensive getters and setters. When are getters and setters justified? Do you try to ...
123
votes
11answers
31k views

How has an increase in the complexity of systems affected successive generations of programmers?

As a "new" programmer (I first wrote a line of code in 2009), I've noticed it's relatively easy to create a program that exhibits quite complex elements today with things like .NET framework for ...
123
votes
18answers
38k views

How does learning assembly aid in programming?

I have been programming in higher level languages (Python, C#, VBA, VB.NET) for around 10 years and I have completely zero understanding on what's going on, "under the hood." I am wondering what are ...
122
votes
14answers
9k views

Demonstrate bad code to client?

A client has asked me to do a redesign of their website, an ASP.NET Webforms application that was developed by another consultant. It seemed like a relatively straightforward job, but after looking at ...
121
votes
13answers
15k views

Why are statements in many programming languages terminated by semicolons?

Is there a reason that a semi-colon was chosen as a line terminator instead of a different symbol? I want to know the history behind this decision, and hope the answers will lead to insights that may ...
121
votes
5answers
8k views

What are good habits for designing command line arguments?

While developing the application I started to wonder - How should I design command line arguments? A lot of programs are using formula like this -argument value or /argument value. Solution which ...
121
votes
9answers
44k views

What is a closure?

Every now and then I see "closures" being mentioned, and I tried looking it up but Wiki doesn't give an explanation that I understand. Could someone help me out here?
120
votes
11answers
9k views

Is it appropriate for interviewers to ask candidates for their Stack Exchange user name? [closed]

Would you consider it appropriate if you were asked for your Stack Exchange username in a software job interview (or as a pre-interview screening question)? To me, it seems like a very reasonable ...
120
votes
16answers
5k views

Does craftsmanship pay off? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Prototyping vs. Clean Code at the early stages Frankly, do you prefer Cowboy coding? After working in a number of companies, I am starting to realize that my ...
120
votes
4answers
20k views

What is the benefit of git's two-stage commit process (staging)?

I'm learning git and I've noticed that it has a two-step commit process: git add <files> git commit The first step places revisions into what's called a "staging area" or "index". What I'm ...
119
votes
19answers
88k views

Why are interfaces useful?

I have been studying and coding in C# for some time now. But still, I can't figure the usefulness of Interfaces. They bring too little to the table. Other than providing the signatures of function, ...
119
votes
1answer
26k views

Should package names be singular or plural?

Often, in libraries especially, packages contains classes that are organized around a single concept. Examples: xml, sql, user, config, db. I think we all feel pretty naturally that these packages ...
118
votes
9answers
10k views

Maintain hundreds of customized branches over master branch

Currently we have one master branch for our PHP application in a shared repository. We have more than 500 clients who are subscribers of our software, most of whom have some customization for ...
118
votes
17answers
26k views

Is there an excuse for short variable names?

This has become a large frustration with the codebase I'm currently working in; many of our variable names are short and undescriptive. I'm the only developer left on the project, and there isn't ...
118
votes
15answers
39k views

Do I need to use an interface when only one class will ever implement it?

Isn't the whole point of an interface to for multiple classes to adhere to a set of rules and implementations?
118
votes
18answers
22k views

How should I charge for programming things which take two minutes to fix? [closed]

I am really confused with this. I believe that the more I am getting experience, the more I am becoming an expert at finding mistakes and fixing them quickly. Now my boss got website from a ...
118
votes
10answers
9k views

Should we define types for everything?

Recently I got into a problem with the readability of my code. I had a function that did an operation and returned a string representing the ID of this operation for future reference (a bit like ...
117
votes
15answers
18k views

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

Myself, I can't wait to write a function when I need to do something more than twice. But when it comes to things that only appear twice, it's a bit more tricky. For code that needs more than two ...
117
votes
9answers
15k views

When is it a good idea to force garbage collection?

So I was reading a question about forcing the C# garbage collector to run where almost every single answer is the same: you can do it, but you shouldn't - except for some very rare cases. Sadly, ...
117
votes
10answers
33k views

Is Ken Thompson's compiler hack still a threat?

Ken Thompson Hack (1984) Ken Thompson outlined a method for corrupting a compiler binary (and other compiled software, like a login script on a *nix system) in 1984. I was curious to know if modern ...
116
votes
10answers
12k views

On developing deep programming knowledge

Occasionally I see questions about edge cases and other weirdness on Stack Overflow that are easily answered by the likes of Jon Skeet and Eric Lippert, demonstrating a deep knowledge of the language ...
116
votes
19answers
59k 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) ...
116
votes
1answer
16k views

Effective Strategies for Localization in .NET [closed]

I am developing the UI for a .NET MVC application that will require international localization of all content in the near future. I am very familiar with .NET in general but have never had a project ...
115
votes
17answers
24k views

Is premature optimization really the root of all evil?

A colleague of mine today committed a class called ThreadLocalFormat, which basically moved instances of Java Format classes into a thread local, since they are not thread safe and "relatively ...
115
votes
5answers
32k views

Scheme vs Common Lisp: Which characteristics made a difference in your project? [closed]

There are no shortage of vague "Scheme vs Common Lisp" questions on both StackOverflow and on this site, so I want to make this one more focused. The question is for people who have coded in both ...
115
votes
6answers
18k views

How much should I be using 'let' vs 'const' in ES6?

I've been writing a lot of ES6 code for io.js recently. There isn't much code in the wild to learn from, so I feel like I'm defining my own conventions as I go. My question is about when to use const ...
115
votes
4answers
97k views

Can I use GPL software in a commercial application

I have 3 questions about the GPL here: If I use GPL software in my application, but don't modify or distribute it, do I have to release my application under the GPL? What if I modify some software ...
114
votes
16answers
9k views

How can I convince management to deal with technical debt?

This is a question that I often ask myself when working with developers. I've worked at four companies so far and I've become aware of a lack of attention to keeping code clean and dealing with ...
114
votes
14answers
124k views

Why aren't more desktop apps written with Qt? [closed]

As far as I know and have understood in my experience with Qt, it's a very good and easy to learn library. It has a very well designed API and is cross-platform, and these are just two of the many ...
114
votes
15answers
51k views

What is the advantage of currying?

I just learned about currying, and while I think I understand the concept, I'm not seeing any big advantage in using it. As a trivial example I use a function that adds two values (written in ML). ...
113
votes
21answers
5k views

Is there a way to combat Sales perpetually overcommitting? [closed]

I seem to be repeatedly stuck in a situation where release dates are set not based on anything technical, but because someone in Sales has committed to a customer by then. Based on discussions with ...
112
votes
8answers
10k views

Why does the US government disallow dynamic languages for secure projects?

I know some people that are currently working on a project for the US military (low security level, non-combat human resources type data). An initial state of the project code was submitted to the ...
112
votes
23answers
15k 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 = ...
111
votes
10answers
89k views

How do you unit test private methods?

I am working on a java project. I am new to unit testing. What is the best way to unit test private methods in java classes?
111
votes
11answers
12k views

Is there anything that can be done with recursion that can't be done with loops?

There are times where using recursion is better than using a loop, and times where using a loop is better than using recursion. Choosing the "right" one can save resources and/or result in fewer lines ...
110
votes
16answers
15k views

Team constantly fails to meet sprint goals

We are a small software company with one product. We use scrum, and our developers choose the features they want to include in each sprint. Unfortunately over the past 18 month period, the team ...
110
votes
17answers
6k views

Should I tell someone that their commit caused a regression?

When you track down and fix a regression—i.e. a bug that caused previously working code to stop working—version control makes it entirely possible to look up who committed the change that broke it. ...
110
votes
18answers
10k views

Can a function be too short?

Whenever I find myself writing the same logic more than once, I usually stick it in a function so there is only one place in my application I have to maintain that logic. A side effect is that I ...
110
votes
26answers
23k views

Are null references really a bad thing?

I've heard it said that the inclusion of null references in programming languages is the "billion dollar mistake". But why? Sure, they can cause NullReferenceExceptions, but so what? Any element of ...
110
votes
3answers
29k views

Is C++11 Uniform Initialization a replacement for the old style syntax?

I understand that C++11's uniform initialization solves some syntactical ambiguity in the language, but in a lot of Bjarne Stroustrup's presentations (particularly those during the GoingNative 2012 ...
108
votes
14answers
15k views

Is it possible to rewrite every line of an open source project in a slightly different way, and use it in a closed source project?

There is some code which is GPL or LGPL that I am considering using for an iPhone project. If I took that code (JavaScript) and rewrote it in a different language for use on the iPhone would that be ...
108
votes
16answers
6k views

How do you store “fuzzy dates” into a database?

This is a problem I've run into a few times. Imagine you have a record that you want to store into a database table. This table has a DateTime column called "date_created". This one particular record ...
108
votes
20answers
6k views

Is the phrase “never reinvent the wheel” suitable for students?

I find myself constantly running into this expression "don't reinvent the wheel" or "never reinvent the wheel" when I ask some questions on SO. They tell you to use some frameworks or existing ...
108
votes
10answers
6k views

TDD vs. Productivity

In my current project (a game, in C++), I decided that I would use Test Driven Development 100% during development. In terms of code quality, this has been great. My code has never been so well ...

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