Coding Style(last updated: 20/4/05 04:55 UTC)


Coding style is essential to high quality software.


I do a decent amount of software development (it sounds so much cooler than "programming") and if there's one thing that predominates, it's bad code.  Not my own code of course (far be it from me to write bad code!), but code examples online.  An oft-quoted line goes something like this: "I'm the only one who's ever going to see this code, so why does it matter how I write it?"  There are several flaws in this way of thinking.  First, are you really the only one who will ever see your code?  What if you need help on an issue you are having?  What if you decide to submit your code as an example?

Think about this: if you were to spend the little bit of extra effort it takes to code in style (the initial effort might be considerable, but soon it becomes negligible), then the aforementioned problems would be non-issues.  If programmers around the world were to take this to heart, then instead of having crappy examples of code on the net that we have to decipher to be useful, we'd have a wonderful library of code that would ultimately save time, not use time.  Unfortunately, the return on investment problem plagues this idea.