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Software Design Guidelines

Posted on 11 February 2003 by Demian Turner

Some really nice general rules for software design if you didn’t scoll down that far in PHP Everywhere’s recent article.

As Brian Kernignan once observed, “Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.”

  1. Rule of Modularity: Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces.
  2. Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected to other programs.
  3. Rule of Clarity: Clarity is better than cleverness.
  4. Rule of Simplicity: Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
  5. Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier.
  6. Rule of Robustness: Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
  7. Rule of Least Surprise: In interface design, always do the least surprising thing.
  8. Rule of Repair: When you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible.
  9. Rule of Economy: Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
  10. Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
  11. Rule of Representation: Use smart data so program logic can be stupid and robust.
  12. Rule of Separation: Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines.
  13. Rule of Optimization: Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it.
  14. Rule of Diversity: Distrust all claims for “one true way”.
  15. Rule of Extensibility: Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think.
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1 Comments For This Post

  1. demian Says:

    if you don\’t already know this article it\’s got some good tips for optimising PHP:

    http://phplens.com/lens/php-book/optimizing-debugging-php.php

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