coding standard essentials of software development

Coding Standard Essentials Of Software Development You Need To Know

Introduction

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Coding is the backbone of every software. It determines a software application’s overall performance, quality and standard.

And hence, quality codes and standards are essential.

Many software developers use a programming language to code for numerous platforms and applications. They never fail to keep in mind the quality codes and standards while programming. Programming has been evolving for years to suit the demands of customers and changing needs.

Every development team should master the guidelines to improve code quality issues. Even the most seasoned programmer may make a code mistake without recognising it. And that one flaw might result in a tiny hiccup. Or, even worse, a major security breach.

For coding conventions in software engineeringcode quality standards are critical. It has a substantial influence on overall software quality. You may classify code as either good/high-quality or bad/low-quality. Quality, whether excellent or terrible, is, of course, a subjective affair. Depending on the context of coding, various software development teams may have different meanings.

Now, you must be wondering what is coding used forwhy code quality is important and associated code quality issues. So, to understand the advantages of coding and the well known coding best practices, let’s get to the basics first.

What is a Coding Standard?

Coding standards are a collection of guidelines, strategies, and best practices for writing code that is more legible, efficient, and error-free. They provide a standard framework for software developers to employ when creating complex and highly functioning code.

Let’s look at the list of coding standards for PHP, WordPress, and WordPress VIP.

PHP coding standards

Let us first take a look at the coding conventions when writing PHP code for WordPress. Given below are some of them-

1. Single and Double Quotes

  • Use single quotes if you’re not evaluating anything in the string. Single or double quotes should not end the attribute value, invalidating the HTML and posing a security risk.
  • Text that goes into attributes should be run via esc attr() so that single or double quotes do not finish the attribute value, invalidating the HTML and posing a security risk.

2. Indentation

  • Make sure your indentation reflects logical structure. Use genuine tabs rather than spaces to provide your clients the maximum freedom.
  • Tabs should be used at the beginning of the line for indentation, while spaces can be used in the middle of the line for alignment.

3. Brace Style

  • Braces should be worn at all times, even if they are not necessary.
  • Consider breaking a particularly large piece of code into two or more shorter blocks, functions, or methods to minimise complexity, enhance testing ease, and improve readability.

4. Use else if instead of not else if

  • The colon syntax for if | else if blocks is incompatible with else if. As a result, for conditionals, use else if.

5. Defining Arrays

  • Using long array syntax (array(1, 2, 3) rather than short array syntax ([1, 2, 3]) for declaring arrays are often more understandable, especially for persons with visual impairments.

6. Closures (Anonymous Functions)

  • Closures can be used instead of generating new functions to provide callbacks in some cases.

7. Function Calls on Many Lines

  • When a function call is split across multiple lines, each argument must be on its own line.
  • Inline comments that are only one line long can take up their own line.

8. Regular Expressions

  • Instead of POSIX regular expressions, Perl compatible regular expressions (PCRE, preg_ functions) should be used.
  • Use preg replace callback instead of the /e switch.

9. PHP Open and Close Tags

  • The PHP open and close tags must be on their own line when embedding multi-line PHP snippets within an HTML block.

10. Shorthand PHP Start Tags

  • Shorthand PHP start tags should never be used.
  • Use entire PHP tags at all times.

11. Remove Trailing Spaces

  • At the conclusion of each line of code, remove any trailing whitespace.
  • It is preferable to skip the closing PHP tag at the conclusion of a file. If you use the tag, ensure sure the trailing whitespace is removed.

12. Space usage

  • After commas, and on both sides of the logical, comparison, string, and assignment operators, always use spaces.
  • Place spaces on both sides of the if, else if, for each, for, and switch blocks’ opening and closing parenthesis.

13. SQL statement formatting

  • When structuring SQL statements, you may divide them up into many lines and indent them if they’re long enough.
  • However, most statements function nicely as a single line.
  • The SQL elements of the statement, such as UPDATE or WHERE should always be capitalised.

14. Database queries

  • Avoid contacting the database directly using database queries.
  • Use a specified function to acquire the data you require if one exists.
  • Database abstraction (using functions instead of queries) keeps your code forward-compatible and can be several times quicker in circumstances when results are stored in memory.

15. Naming conventions

  • Lowercase letters should be used in variable, action/filter, and function names (never camelCase).
  • Use underscores to separate words.
  • Allow the code to be straightforward and self-documenting by not abbreviating variable names excessively.

16. Per file, just one object structure (class, interface, or trait) should be declared

  • For example, if we have a file named class-example-class.php, that file can only contain one class.
  • Class-example-class-extended.php should be the name of the second class.

17. Flag values with Self-Explanatory Text Function Arguments Values

  • When invoking functions, use string values rather than just true and fall.
  • Instead of booleans, descriptive textual values might be used to make the code more understandable.

18. Interpolation for Naming Dynamic Hooks

  • For readability and discoverability, dynamic hooks should be named using interpolation rather than concatenation.

19. Ternary Operator

  • Ternary operators are OK, but they should always be used to check if a statement is true rather than false.
  • Otherwise, it becomes perplexing.
  • The short ternary operator cannot be used.

20. Yoda Conditions

  • Always put the variable on the right side of logical comparisons involving variables, and constants, literals, or function calls on the left side.
  • The order is irrelevant if neither side is a variable.

21. Clever code

  • Readability is more crucial than wit or brevity in general, as it is in content and copywriting as well.

22. Error Control operator

  • The at-sign (@) is the only error control operator that PHP allows.
  • Any error warnings generated by that expression will be disregarded when prepended to an expression in PHP.
  • While this operator exists in Core, it is frequently used in a lazy manner rather than doing a thorough error check.
  • As a result, its usage is discouraged.

WordPress coding standards

WordPress is a PHP-based open-source program that is mostly used to build blogs. Although WordPress is an older system, it is still used to develop numerous blogs and websites. Because PHP-FIG does not include any WordPress developers, the coding standards are different from those of PSR. Following the standards ensures that anybody may easily understand and edit a part of code, regardless of when or by whom it was developed.

WordPress code standards can be categorized as language-specific standards, they are-

  • CSS Coding standards
  • HTML Coding standards
  • Coding standards for JavaScript
  • PHP Coding standards

WP VIP coding standards

There are Two rule sets included in the WordPress VIP code:

  • For projects on the (earlier) WordPress.com VIP platform, utilize wordPressVIPMinimum.
  • For usage with projects on the (newer) VIP Go platform, WordPress-VIP-Go is available.

According to the WordPress VIP Go documentation, these rulesets only include rules that are deemed errors or warnings.

The rulesets incorporate rules from both the WordPress Coding Standards (WPCS) initiative and the VariableAnalysis standard. Also, read this technical document to discover why violations are signal as errors rather than warnings, and what the levels represent.

Why are coding guidelines important?

Wonder why are coding rules beneficial to a coder’s success? In short, if coding standards in software engineering are not set, developers may use whatever way they like, which may have undesirable consequences such as:

1. Security Concerns

  • If the software is inconsistent, includes defects, or has logic faults, it becomes subject to assaults.
  • The majority of the aforementioned issues are caused by improper programming, which may have occurred as a result of bad coding techniques. This is one of the benefits of coding standards and why code quality is important.

2. Performance Issues

  • Poor coding harms the site’s performance. The performance difficulties include a variety of aspects such as how the user interacts with the site, server response issues, code reusability and flow, and so on.
  • These are implemented when software coding standards are applied. problems can be easily overcome giving you a secure site with minimum or no performance issues. This is one of the benefits of coding standards.

Why are coding standards important in Software development?

Let us dig into why coding guidelines help a coder become successful:

Bug fixing

  • If the source code is written consistently, it becomes much easier to find and rectify flaws in the product.
  • By using common language features and software development tools, coding standards may help keep errors out of embedded software.

Minimal difficulty

  • When a code is complicated, it is more likely to be prone to mistakes. These coding standards best practices assist in the construction of less complicated software systems, which reduces mistakes.
  • Generally, one should develop code as per requirement and hence making it less complicated.

Efficient use of cost and time

  • Developers may reuse code that is written straightforwardly whenever they need it.
  • This can drastically minimize the cost of software development as well as the time spent on it.

Increased Productivity

  • It is frequently observed that software engineers devote a significant portion of their time to correcting code quality issues that might have been avoided.
  • Programming standards and best practices would aid the team in detecting problems early on, if not preventing them.
  • Throughout the software development process, this will boost efficiency and provide a positive user experience.

The likelihood of a project’s failure is minimized

  • IT initiatives frequently fail as a result of issues encountered when building software.
  • Many difficulties and the likelihood of project failure are reduced when code quality guidelines are followed.

An in-depth examination

  • If the source code is consistent, it is possible to see how the code fits into the bigger program or the firm as a whole.

Simple to Maintain

  • If software engineering programming standards are followed, the code is consistent and easy to maintain.
  • This is since anyone may comprehend it and change it at any moment.

Makes a robust software

  • A solid coding standard ensures high-quality code.
  • End-users will be highly uncomfortable if they receive a confusing notice when they do anything incorrect in software if the code quality is good.
  • This is where sturdiness comes into play. Despite exceptional circumstances, the program can cope with faults during execution.
  • End-user error messages in high-quality software coding standards are clear and intelligible.

Technical debt reduction

  • Software development is a high-budget profession in and of itself, with software being expected to work for as long as possible and with the fewest possible errors.
  • However, low-quality software is certain to fail sooner rather than later unless a large number of modifications are introduced into the program regularly, increasing the technical debt.
  • Extra development work takes time and money, which a high-quality code eliminates.

Improving readability and editing efficiency

  • Good code quality standards ensures that programs are written in a way that makes them easy to read.
  • Some aspects include the inclusion of comments, adequate indentation, unambiguous notations, and a simple flow.
  • High-quality code is also easier to understand and update, making editing it a more pleasant experience.
  • When you focus on good code communication and develop code as per requirement, you encourage inter-team learning.

As a result, software development coding standards are critical to project success.

Ideal Coding Standard practices to write better codes

Use of Indentation

  • When writing code, it is recommended that you employ indentation.
  • There is no set style for writing code; nonetheless, any style can be used.
  • However, throughout the code, a consistent indentation style should be used.

Avoid Commenting on Obvious Things

  • Keep in mind that you should not make unnecessary comments while adhering to the rules.
  • An excessive amount of explanation will make your code appear awkward.

Proper and Consistent Scheme for Naming

  • The two popular naming conventions are camel case and underscore.
  • CamelCase can be used for naming where the first letter of each word is capitalized except for the first word.
  • While UnderScore Name your function using an underscore between the words.
  • It is up to the developer to decide which naming scheme to employ, however, the naming scheme must remain consistent throughout the code.
  • In Java, the name convention is CamelCase, but in PHP, the naming convention is underscored.

4. Code Comments and Proper Documentation

  • When developing code, it’s a good idea to leave comments.
  • It aids in the comprehension of your code by other engineers.
  • Commenting may be used in a variety of ways with the help of the Integrated Development Environment and other technologies.
  • Every method or routine should begin with a remark describing what the routine, method, or function performs, as well as its different arguments, return values, errors, and exceptions (if any).
  • In addition, the comments should describe the function of each file and class, their contents, and even the phases of complex scripts.

5. Proper organization of files and folders

  • It is feasible to write the entire code in a single file, however, this may cause readability and maintenance issues.
  • As a result, it’s best to separate it into multiple directories.

6. Code for Classification

  • It is preferable to divide the jobs into independent code blocks/functions, with sufficient space between them.
  • At the beginning of each block, you can write a comment.

7. The principle of Dry

  • The notion of DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself, often known as DIE) should be remembered by developers while coding (duplication is evil).
  • When discussing coding ideas, it’s usually a good idea to develop your own code rather than copying aimlessly.
  • It is common knowledge that the majority of software products are designed to automate repetitive operations.
  • As a result, the application’s code should be written in such a way that the identical code does not appear several times.

8. Nesting structures with a lot of depth should be avoided

  • The code is tough to understand since there are too many nested structures.
  • As a result, it’s best to stay away from deep nesting.

9. Shorten the line length

  • Tall, thin columns are easy to read and appear to be pleasing to the sight. As a result, it is recommended that you employ small line lengths, with an optimal length of 80 characters.
  • For example, echo ‘Hello world,’ ‘Welcome,’ and ‘Anything.’
  • The aforementioned method of coding is not standardised.
  • Rather, the one line should be divided into several smaller lines.

10. Procedural programming vs. OOPs

  • It is up to the programmers to decide which programming style to use.
  • Object-oriented programming allows for the creation of well-structured programmes, whereas procedural programming allows for the creation of functions that execute specified tasks on their own.

11. Readability of open source code

  • Multiple developers contribute to a single piece of software when working on open source projects.
  • As a result, maintaining code readability is important so that the team can work on it quickly.
  • It’s also a good idea to look through the source code for these projects to get a sense of what the developers are up to.

12. Coding refactoring

  • This is done to improve the code’s readability without affecting the code’s core functioning.

To Wrap Up

And so, why should you spend money on high-quality code?

Software developers all across the world adhere to certain coding standards best practices to maintain a high-quality development environment. It’s a lot simpler to read, a lot easier to keep up with, a lot easier to grasp, and a lot easier to reuse codes if you follow these standards.

So, regardless of the programming language or framework, you use to create software, incorporating code quality into your software development coding standards life cycle will result in a good, resilient, and smooth product.

Our experts at Deliverables agency can help you lower your software ownership costs by supplying high-quality code. To assure code quality, we at Deliverables follow and implement such standard methods.

Our coding standard is simple to understand and improve. Please feel free to contact us if you require any coding or programming services.

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