Sanity and Readabilty

Shooting Offense: Unobvious Solution


Shooting Offense: Unobvious Problem


Shooting Offenses

We are all mature programmers, and we all know that some oddities are best rectified by firing the programmer

  • Unexpected side effects

  • Wrong documentation (none is far better)

  • Nested loops to a depth of 10

    • With loop variables taken from somewhere in the middle of the alphabet (Fortran?)

  • Obvious lazyness

  • Obvious lack of respect for colleagues


Ambiguity is the root of all evil. Imagine …

  • You have to take over maintenance of a large piece of code

  • ⟶ you have to understand it

  • You cannot guess from its name what a function does

  • Same with variables

  • Same with parameters

  • Return values have no obvious meaning

  • There are comments all over, obviously meant to overcome those shortcomings

  • Comments are mostly out-of-sync with the code

This will drive you mad!

  • (… especially if it’s your own code)*


Simple recipe for writing good code: you are able to understand what you did, even after three weeks of holiday/beer

  • Chances are others will understand the code too

  • Requires some discipline

  • ⟶ Handcraft?

Code Smells

Code smells for the following reasons

  • Comments that explain how the code works

  • Long parameter lists

  • Long nested if/else chains

  • Hungarian notation

  • … and many more

We won’t elaborate on that - this is not a programming course

Following a series of easy techniques to make C code readable/correct

Good reading: here