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Practical Standards For Microsoft Visual Basic
by James D. Foxall
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It's no secret that Visual Basic is a popular choice for today's developers, but it's also true that there is a lot of bad code out there. Practical Standards for Microsoft Visual Basic seeks to remedy this situation with a compilation of dozens of useful hints for writing clearer, faster, and more maintainable code. Presented in a simple, easy-to-understand style, this is a book that can benefit any VB programmer, regardless of expertise level.
The most important suggestions in the book have to do with naming and coding style. The author recommends using Hungarian Notation, in which prefixes are used with variable names to describe the scope and data type of all variables. Tables and sample code show you how to get going.
There are many suggestions for writing more maintainable code. A chapter on writing effective comments is a standout. Throughout this book, the author provides examples of correct and incorrect code practices. (This edition makes good use of two-color presentation and highlighted text to illustrate key concepts effectively.) A final section looks at the importance of source version control with Microsoft Visual SourceSafe.
While more expert programmers may quibble with some of the ideas presented, there's much to mine in Practical Standards for Microsoft Visual Basic. Whether or not your shop adopts all of them, there's little doubt that you'll benefit from this compilation. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Problems with Visual Basic code today, advantages of coding standards, using custom object and project templates, effective module design (cohesion, fan-in, and fan-out), naming conventions and Hungarian Notation, creating descriptive names, constants vs. magic numbers, enumerations, error-handling tips and techniques, indenting code, using white space, a guide to writing effective comments, end-of-line comments, flow control statements, user interface design hints, form and menu design, consistency, using system colors, user input, mouse and keyboard interaction, version control, using readme files, and installing and using Visual SourceSafe.
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