Practical Standards for Microsoft Visual Basic

Authored by James D. Foxall

Published by Microsoft Press
Publication date: 2000-02-01
ISBN: 0735607338

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Structured development procedures are vital to produce quality source code; equally so in Visual Basic as in other programming languages. With this book, James D. Foxall tries to endorse his kind of structured development. Perhaps he succeeds. When I first read the book, however, my immediate reaction was "What?!". It was not a good sign.

I will not enter in a debate over which coding standard to use. The topic is a virtual mine field, with
religion, feuds, and individuality being key ingredients. My main concern with this book are the short-sighted solutions presented to what must be common, but easily resolvable, problems. Following Foxall's advice without critique will ultimately leave your application more vulnerable to timed bombs.

If you read this book, it is probably because you, or someone else, wants to impose a more structured way of programming in your environment. You will get this from Foxall's book -- he presents a very well defined, structured way of programming that will leave your code easily read and maintained by another person who has also read Foxall's book (or, for that matter, any other recommendation by Microsoft in this area).

However, I strongly disagree with the methods presented. The use of Hungarian notation, abuse of syntax features and defaults, and a general reference to C style programming, is unpleasant and counter productive. Although Foxall delivers a good presentation, my recommendation would be to use common sense instead of this book if you plan on deciding on a coding standard.