The Elements of Programming Style cover

The Elements of Programming Style


The Elements of Programming Style, by Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger, is a study of programming style, advocating the notion that computer programs should be written not only to satisfy the compiler or personal programming "style", but also for "readability" by humans, specifically software maintenance engineers, programmers and technical writers. It was originally published in 1974. The book pays explicit homage, in title and tone, to The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White and is considered a practical template promoting Edsger Dijkstra's structured programming discussions. It has been influential and has spawned a series of similar texts tailored to individual languages, such as The Elements of C Programming Style, The Elements of C# Style, The Elements of Java(TM) Style, The Elements of MATLAB Style, etc. The book is built on short examples from actual, published programs in programming textbooks. This results in a practical treatment rather than an abstract or academic discussion. The style is diplomatic and generally sympathetic in its criticism, and unabashedly honest as well— some of the examples with which it finds fault are from the authors' own work (one example in the second edition is from the first edition).
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original title: The Elements of Programming Style
language: English
date of publication: 1974

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