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Dave Chestnutt: SparklingCode and CodeGaffes Writing better code; for fun and profit January 2006 Entries
SparklingCode: Count the cost with Line Numbers
One of the benefits of using modern editors is that it's really easy to navigate your code base. If you're looking at a method call, for example, you can use a keystroke combination to jump to the method definition. But there's a drawback to this. If you're not careful, as you add new code you can end up with monster methods, or monster-sized classes. Let me ask you this - what do you think the maximum size of a class should be? 100 lines? 500 lines? 10,000 lines? While we won't agree on an exact ......

Posted On Monday, January 30, 2006 6:46 PM

CodeGaffe: Clueless Comments - Never Say Never
I was fixing a bug the other day, when I ran across this comment (marked in red): if (condition1){ //… some useful code …}else if (condition2){ //… some useful code …}else{ // this can never happen} My first thought was, if this can never happen then why not throw an exception in case it does? So I added a line to throw an exception. if (condition1){ //… some useful code …}else if (condition2){ //… some useful code …}else{ // this can never happen throw new ApplicationException("this can never happen");} ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 18, 2006 5:45 PM

CodeGaffe: Unreinforced Concrete Classes
One of the benefits of object oriented design, is that some problems show up during compile-time instead of at run-time. And you know that run-time issues always show up at the worst possible time, like at a customer site. This CodeGaffe happens when a programmer writes code that "enforces" something with comments, or Assertions. Have you ever seen a method defined in a base class with a comment or Assertion telling you to override it? Of course, if the subclass doesn't override it, you can be certain ......

Posted On Monday, January 16, 2006 4:51 PM

What are CodeGaffes?
In my company, I've been able to join various projects over the years. As a result, I'm usually modifying or adding to legacy code. Of course, in reality, all code is legacy code after about a week. In looking at code (written by others as well as myself) I sometimes see bad coding practices. These are always obvious in hindsight. In the spirit of blogging, I'm going to share these as CodeGaffes. Look to understand the reason why these are bad, as well as how to fix or avoid them. In a sense, these ......

Posted On Monday, January 16, 2006 4:26 PM

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