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Building Maintainable Software

Ten Guidelines for Future-Proof Code

Paperback Engels 2016 9781491953525
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Have you ever felt frustrated working with someone else’s code? Difficult-to-maintain source code is a big problem in software development today, leading to costly delays and defects. Be part of the solution. With this practical book, you’ll learn 10 easy-to-follow guidelines for delivering Java software that’s easy to maintain and adapt. These guidelines have been derived from analyzing hundreds of real-world systems.

Written by consultants from the Software Improvement Group (SIG), this book provides clear and concise explanations, with advice for turning the guidelines into practice. Examples for this edition are written in Java, while our companion C# book provides workable examples in that language.

- Write short units of code: limit the length of methods and constructors
- Write simple units of code: limit the number of branch points per method
- Write code once, rather than risk copying buggy code
- Keep unit interfaces small by extracting parameters into objects
- Separate concerns to avoid building large classes
- Couple architecture components loosely
- Balance the number and size of top-level components in your code
- Keep your codebase as small as possible
- Automate tests for your codebase
- Write clean code, avoiding "code smells" that indicate deeper problems


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1. Introduction
-What Is Maintainability?
-Why Is Maintainability Important?
-Three Principles of the Guidelines in This Book
-Misunderstandings About Maintainability
-Rating Maintainability
-An Overview of the Maintainability Guidelines

2. Write Short Units of Code
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Writing Short Units
-See Also

3. Write Simple Units of Code
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Writing Simple Units of Code
-See Also

4. Write Code Once
-Types of Duplication
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Avoiding Code Duplication
-See Also

5. Keep Unit Interfaces Small
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Keeping Unit Interfaces Small
-See Also

6. Separate Concerns in Modules
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Separating Concerns

7. Couple Architecture Components Loosely
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Loose Component Coupling
-See Also

8. Keep Architecture Components Balanced
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Balancing Components
-See Also

9. Keep Your Codebase Small
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Keeping the Codebase Small

10. Automate Tests
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Automating Tests
-See Also

11. Write Clean Code
-Leave No Trace
-How to Apply the Guideline
-Common Objections to Writing Clean Code

12. Next Steps
-Turning the Guidelines into Practice
-Lower-Level (Unit) Guidelines Take Precedence Over Higher-Level (Component) Guidelines
-Remember That Every Commit Counts
-Development Process Best Practices Are Discussed in the Follow-Up Book

Appendix A: How SIG Measures Maintainability


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        Building Maintainable Software