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Advogato: How to Write Maintainable Code

Mar 18, 2001, 16:15 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bram Cohen)

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"Software engineers suffer from not knowing what their code should look like. The classic essay worse is better exemplifies this - How can worse be better? Isn't worse worse? Even more confusingly, it's generally referenced to claim the exact opposite of what it's trying to argue."

"The problem is that people use very different, and often antithetical, criteria to judge the 'beauty' of code. Clearly there is a need for a measure of code quality which is more objective than aesthetic."

"I suggest that you judge code based on it's maintainability."

"Truly maintanable code is flexible and can be taken in many directions. Code is not more maintainable just because it has more features - invoking functionality which is currently dormant is not maintenance, it's use. Maintenance is when you add new functionality or change existing functionality. This is often done long after the code was originally written and in a completely unforseeable manner."

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