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The Way We Program
July/August 2008 (vol. 25 no. 4)
pp. 89-91
Diomidis Spinellis, Athens University of Economics and Business
Code lacking comments, meaningful identifiers, and correct indentation is a nightmare. By studying 30 programs of various sizes to measure what percentage of their source code consisted of comments, meaningful identifiers, and whitespace, the author found that more than half of the code served developers rather than the compiler. The relative composition of the three elements was equally distributed and didn't appear to vary with project size. This finding substantiates the view of programming as an art form and the importance of source code in the software development process. Therefore we need to focus management's attention on code and its developers.
Index Terms:
source code, comments, meaningful identifiers, indentation, whitespace, art
Citation:
Diomidis Spinellis, "The Way We Program," IEEE Software, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 89-91, July-Aug. 2008, doi:10.1109/MS.2008.101
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