Cover by Steve McConnell

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How to Use Routine Parameters

How to Use Routine Parameters

Interfaces between routines are some of the most error-prone areas of a program. One often-cited study by Basili and Perricone (1984) found that 39 percent of all errors were internal interface errors—errors in communication between routines. Here are a few guidelines for minimizing interface problems:

Put parameters in input-modify-output order. Instead of ordering parameters randomly or alphabetically, list the parameters that are input-only first, input-and-output second, and output-only third. This ordering implies the sequence of operations happening within the routine-inputting data, changing it, and sending back ...

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