Guides to best practices for newbies?
I'm running a community site for mathematicians at my university. One of the things we have to do as part of our course is a set of computer projects collectively known as CATAM (Computer Assisted Torture of All Mathematicians). This is a slight problem for many people as at least half the mathmo population has never programmed before.
Being a techie type, I tend to get called in for tuition by those who really don't have a clue. And their code is disgusting. It's all those things that techies tend to pick up in their first week of programming then forget they ever learned. Little things like commenting code (hey, some of us do this), indenting stuff, not naming all variables after letters of the alphabet etc.
Are there any guides to the real basics of programming best practice floating around on the 'net? It'd save me time and these poor mathematicians much pain. Won't someone please think of the mathematicians!
That link should be to http://www.srcf.ucam.org/mathwiki - don't know what happened.
The coding style guide and commenting manual used as part of the
SharpDevelop project have been really helpful to us. It was a good
place to start at least in trying to develop some standards. They also
have some useful materials on technical
wrting....SharpDevelop Tech Notes
Ooh, shiney Thanks, that's exactly what I was after. The one entitled "The
fine Art of Commenting" in particular should be required reading for
all CATAMites. I have too many friends who don't understand the concept
and, moreover, name their variables after stars - yes, I have seen
variables called Betelgeuse - famous composers or mathematicians, or
simply use names that would make perfect sense if I was able to read
Latin. This being Cambridge, we get a very high class of obfuscation...
When in my freshman year of college, beginning my first real programming class, I helped this kid that named each and every variable after his favorite animal.... llama. It was always llama in different capitialization.
After the first project, I kindly told him to not ask me for help again if he doesn't use meaningful names.
Check out the book Code Complete
I have a couple links that should help ya out.
First, these are good links on good coding practices and tutorials:
Now, these links are more for what NOT to do:
And, there is always this site of course