Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Programming "Standards"?

How do small and medium-sized companies respond to the question, "what are your programming standards?  I know what my standards are, for good, bug-free, cleanly-designed and well-documented work. 

While I know that there are ISO quality standards for software business practices, documentation and testing, and there are ISO standards for programming
languages such as C and C++ (and myriad "working committees" trying to come up with standards for other languages), Internet languages seem only to
have W3C guidelines to follow.  I can't believe that an ISO validation checker, comparable to an HTML checker, is sufficient. 

Is there anything that one can apply to the "programming standards" question in the real world?  Is it only ISO certification (something it seems that only big companies like Oracle have or can afford) or extensive documentation elaborating on a company's will to meet or exceed highest standards of quality in code and clarity and completeness of testing and process? 

In terms of actual code, is it reassuring to the client that your company's code will never exceed 2300 lines in a module?  Can anyone share experience with this issue?

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

There are many more "standards" for C and C++ than just the ANSI ones, (now ISO). 

Since many of these have not yet been widely adopted I prefer to use the term guidelines.

If you use LINT you are adopting the guidelines suggested by james Gimpel; they are the product of a lot of experience in what makes code fail.

You can also create your own guidelines.  Notice what makes your programs fail.  Don't do it again.

I specialize in writing software to mechanize customer's own coding guidelines.

Keith Paton
Thursday, December 27, 2001

You can take a look at the Reddick VBA naming conventions (for VBA variables and constants and MSOffice objects) and the Reddick VBA coding conventions, at:

Not for C or C++, but the coding conventions seem like they might be along the lines of what you're looking for.

Herbert Sitz
Friday, December 28, 2001

Read this:

And then do the opposite.

Friday, December 28, 2001

If you want to inspect your code for unmaintainable constructions along the lines mentioned here, contact me.

I have tools that do this.

Keith Paton
Sunday, December 30, 2001

Couple of links I happened to save:

1) Scott W. Ambler, AmbySoft Inc. Coding Standards for Java

There are links to other coding standards and guidelines there. Scott also co-authored 2)

2) The Elements of Java Style

3) GUI Computing Codins Standards

4) Code Conventions for the Java Programming Language
I didn't like this one, though ..

Evgeny Goldin
Sunday, December 30, 2001

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home