Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Writing Stylish Code

Working on a codebase that is authored by a lot of people has given me a new appreciation for writing consistently styled code.  Even having 10 programmers all writing in a different way makes it hard to go in and modify or fix code written by someone else.  In the C/C++ community, there are constant wars about indention or variable naming. In the end, it's not really important which convention you pick, it's more important that you pick one and stick to it.

LabVIEW is no different and it may be a bit more difficult because we give you 2 dimensions (X and Y) in which to place your code rather than just one.  I just saw an announcement for a new LabVIEW book and thought I'd pass it along.

The LabVIEW Style Book - Peter A Blume

Best-Practice Style Rules and Standards for Developing Quality LabVIEW Software
Drawing on the experiences of a world-class LabVIEW development organization, The LabVIEW Style Book is the definitive guide to best practices in LabVIEW development.
Leading LabVIEW development manager Peter A. Blume presents practical guidelines or "rules" for optimizing every facet of your applications: ease of use, efficiency, readability, simplicity, performance, maintainability, and robustness. Blume explains each style rule thoroughly, presenting realistic examples and illustrations. He even presents "nonconforming" examples that show what not to do-and why not.

I like that he mentions a tool that we release and use internally for our own G code reviews

Code reviews: Enforcing a style convention using a checklist, the LabVIEW VI Analyzer Toolkit, and peer reviews

Check it out.

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