Is there any bloody value in coding standards? –

July 17, 2003

Just caught this blog at the Software Craftsmen – Is there any bloody value in coding standards? And I have to answer with a resounding ‘maybe’ 🙂

But really, I think there is a lot of value in coding standards but turning them into religious wars isn’t right. I have to agree Oliver’s comment in the blog about working on large projects with many developers. I’ve created the coding standards at my company and they can be summed up in 2 pages. Most of the document revolves around best practices in things like use interfaces, make sure all value objects (DTO’s) are Serializable, etc. In fact, the document is called ‘Developer Standards and Practices’.

And since IDEA is our standard, developers can check out code and have it look the way they like it and format it to the corporate standard when they check it back in. Everyone’s happy 🙂

In reading the comments on the blog, it was great to see how people are using Checkstyle and Jalopy to get around the problem of standards and just reformatting the code to meet the corporate standard. Must investigate them more to see if they can add value without causing the typical headaches that most people face when talking about coding standard. In fact, the old adage that says ‘Never talk about politics or religion at the dinner table’ should be changed to ‘Never talk about politics, religion or coding standards at the dinner table’ 🙂

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