Java Coding Standards and Google Java Coding Standards

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The Google Java Coding Standards Guide

Essentially the Java coding standards guide standardizes the way in which applications are coded in terms of good practices. The guide is divided into six sections, each section dealing with different Java coding topics. The sections included in the Google Java Style guide are:

1.       Source file basics

2.       Source file structures

3.       Formatting

4.       Naming

5.       Programming practices

6.       JavaDoc

Google Java Coding Standards – Source File Basics

The source file basics include standards that determine how to name a file, basic file encoding, Ascii character rules and whitespace rules. The most important style rules in terms of source file basics state that source files must be named using the .java extension. The name itself must contain the name of the top level class it contains. Source file names are also case sensitive and that should be kept in mind when naming source files. The only whitespace character that should appear anywhere in the file should be the Ascii horizontal space character. This means that whitespaces in characters in strings and literals are all escaped, and that tab characters should not be used for indentation purposes.

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Google Java Coding Standards – Source File Structures

According to the Google Java coding standard, each source file may consist of license or copyright information, a package statement, import statements and then exactly one top level class, in that particular order. Developers will use one blank line only to separate each section within the file. This section also specifies that no wildcard imports are allowed. Import statements should not be line wrapped and the column limit of 80 or 100 does not apply to these statements. This section also sets out the standards for grouping and sorting import statements.

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Google Java Coding Standards – Formatting in Java

In terms of the google Java coding standards, programmers need to add braces where braces are optional. Braces should therefore be used with all if, else, for, while and do statements even when these structures contain only one statement. The brace should appear on the same line as the statement, so no line breaks should appear between the statement and the bracket. There should be a line break after the bracket and after the closing bracket. Block indentation should be set at two spaces. Statements should be confined to a new line per statement. Columns widths should be confined to 80 to 100 characters except for long URL or import statements.

Vertical line breaks or whitespaces should be limited to members of a class, to create logical groupings of statements. Multiple line breaks are discouraged. Horizontal whitespaces should be used to separate reserved words, separate reserved words from braces, before curly braces, on both sides of a binary operator, after closing parenthesis, between a type and variable declaration. Interior whitespaces should be avoided.

Google Java Standards

There are a number of different Java coding standards. The above is an introduction to those standards. It is important to apply the standards to your programs if you want to run them via Google in any form. These standards are not only necessary for programs running on Google, but they actually form part of best programming practices for Java in general, so learning programming standards will ultimately make you a better programmer.

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