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Do Coding Standards improve Software Quality?

Oege de Moor ( Oxford University Computing Laboratory )

Many organisations require developers to adhere to a coding standard that consists of rules of good practice. The rules may range from naming conventions to avoidance of common programming errors. A well-known example is the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) standard for C++. Coding standards like JSF are enforced via code reviews and automated checkers.

How effective are coding standards in improving code quality? Can we determine whether one set of rules is more effective than another? We'll explore these questions by examining one year of development of Firefox.



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