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Old 06-01-2002, 01:15 AM
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loquin loquin is offline
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Post Standards and Practices

In the Extreme Visual Basic Forum Mission Statement, it states, "This Forum exists to promote the personal and professional development of its members." It goes on to say "we promote programming skills by exchanging code, knowledge, and ideas."

In most of the cases here at the forum, members ask and answer questions pertaining to specific problems or issues they are having in applying Visual Basic. That's great - it addresses, to a large extent, the promotion of programming skills by the exchange of code and knowledge, and to a lesser extent, exchanging ideas. In my opinion though, one of the important programming knowledge areas that is not addressed often enough here is the concept of Programming Standards and Practices.

"#$%*@^!," you're thinking. "Not someone else telling me how to write my code." As it turns out, there are generally pretty good reasons for most of the suggestions that have been made in this regard. In a lot of cases though, the person making the suggestion may have not done a thorough job of explaining just what those reasons are, and why the suggestion was made. What are the reasons you would want to apply this suggestion? Are there ever reasons for not doing something this way? If I don't do this, what are the ramifications?

Visual Basic programmers (and programmers as a whole) have developed sets of guidelines, standards, and practices over the years. These concepts are good rules to generally apply when you develop an application. They don't have to be applied in all instances though. In some instances, trade-offs are involved. Style versus Performance. Performance versus Maintainability. Your goal, as a programmer, should be to learn when to apply, and even more importantly, when not to apply these guidelines. If you make a conscious decision to not follow a standard, and have thought through the ramifications, so be it. You've done your homework.

In order for you follow the "rules of the road" though, it helps to have a road map. In other words, you need to know what the rules are, and why they are there in the first place. It's my intention to write a series of follow up mini-tutorials specifically dealing with many of the common programming standards and practices. I'm planning on releasing a new session topic, on average, every few weeks. I've polled the other forum leaders for topic suggestions, and as usual, they haven't been shy in putting forward ideas. If you have a specific topic that you think should be discussed, just shoot me a private message with your idea.

Microsoft has also published a set of standards in MSDN that are useful as well.
"I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them!" ~ Bette Middler
"It's a book about a Spanish guy called Manual. You should read it." ~ Dilbert
"To understand recursion, you must first understand recursion." ~ unknown

Last edited by loquin; 08-13-2005 at 08:23 AM.
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