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Maintainability Initiative

Maintainable code is part and parcel of well-written software. Clean code. Clean code. CLEAN CODE. All software should be cleanly written. Because the major cost of software is maintenance, not development!

Clean code requires a number of vital factors:

Computer languagesmay be classified as compiled (e.g. C, Java, Perl) or interpreted (e.g. Basic, JavaScript, HTML). Actually Java and Perl could both be considered semi-compiled, though quite different from each other. Computer programsmay be classified as standalone (C, Java, Perl) or encapsulated (Java, Perl, JavaScript, HTML). Encapsulated has different meanings depending on context; here I use the term to mean executed from within an enclosed environment. (While that's technically true of all programs, convention--and common sense--draw the separation at the command line.) So depending on the language and the environment, the issues to consider for Clean Code vary considerably. Basically, though, there are issues of correctness and issues of style.


This section discusses program correctness, that is, getting the syntax and the semantics right. This is perhaps easier than the style question, since there is a whole host of tools to aid in this endeavor. First, an explication of the types of errors which you will face:

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