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  Bug Proofing Visual Basic: Table of Contents  
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Part One: Work Environment

This may seem like a strange place to begin, but work environment can make a huge difference in the amount and quality of code a developer writes.

1. Programming Philosophy
In bug prevention, attitude is everything. This chapter describes the proper mindset for preventing and removing bugs quickly and easily.
2. Work Habits
This chapter discusses more specific techniques that can make bug management easier. Little things, like keeping a list of bugs you have encountered, can make identifying and fixing similar bugs easier in the future.

Part Two: Coding Style

This part of the book discusses specific Visual Basic coding style conventions you can use to make code easier to read and maintain.

3. Variables
This chapter describes methods for declaring and using variables to minimize the chances of introducing bugs.
4. Constants and Enums
Constants and enumerated values are important resources for reducing bug counts. This chapter explains how to use them to make code more readable and maintainable.
5. Exposing Bugs
Many programming practices considered safe actually hide bugs. This chapter shows how to write code that exposes bugs instead of hiding them.
6. Being Obvious
Program code should not be mysterious to programmers who read it. This chapter explains ways you can write code that is obvious to others.
Comments help bridge the gap between a program written for a computer to execute and humans trying to understand the code. This chapter shows how to use comments to help readers understand the code so they do not add bugs to it later.
8. Gotchas
This chapter describes some bugs that are common in Visual Basic programs and tells how to avoid them. Some are rather subtle and can waste a lot of your time if you have never seen them before. They have certainly wasted a lot of my time.

Part Three: Development

Part Three deals mostly with development issues at a higher level than Part Two does. These include application and subroutine design issues, and optimization.

9. Design
Design decisions can have a large impact on the bugginess and maintainability of an application. This chapter gives some tips on designing maintainable applications.
10. Encapsulation
This chapter explains how to use variables, classes, subroutines, and other programming devices to encapsulate complex functionality and make it more bugproof.
11. Optimization
Optimization and bugproofing are often contradictory goals. Optimizing code often makes it harder to understand. On the other hand, bugproofing requires that the code be as easy to understand as possible. This chapter explains how and when to optimize while keeping the program reasonably bugproof.

Part Four: Error Handling

The chapters in Part 4 explain how to handle unexpected situations such as running out of disk space and the user entering invalid data. They show how to build error handlers that allow a program to continue execution even when the unforeseen occurs.

12. Error Handling Fundamentals
This chapter describes Visual Basic's error handling mechanism: the family of On Error statements. A program can use On Error statements to prepare for almost any eventuality. [Note that Visual Basic.NET introduces a new Try Catch Finally error handling syntax that is not covered in this book.]
13. Standard Error Handlers
Many programs perform the same sorts of actions when they encounter errors. For example, they might log error information to a file to help developers find the bug later. This chapter describes several standard error handlers you can use to log errors for later analysis.

Part Five: Post-Coding Activities

The chapters in this part of the book discuss some extremely important activities developers should perform after writing code.

14. Testing
Many programmers consider testing to be a necessary evil that occurs at the end of a project. In fact, testing must occur during all stages of the project. This chapter describes testing habits and techniques you can use to prevent unwanted surprises from ambushing the project in its final stages.
15. Profiling
The code profiler that comes with the Professional and Enterprise editions of Visual Basic allows you to generate coverage and performance statistics for an application. Using these statistics, you can identify code that needs optimization or that may contain bugs. This chapter describes the profiler and explains how to use it to look for bugs.
16. Debugging Habits
Just as good habits can make coding and testing easier and more effective, good debugging habits can help you find and fix bugs more effectively. This chapter describes debugging habits that will help you make your debugging sessions more productive.


Appendix A
This appendix contains an explanation of the self-test code presented in each chapter. It describes the bad points demonstrated by example programs and provides an improved implementation. These programs are available electronically here.
Appendix B
This appendix contains blank header comments you can use as templates in your programs. These templates are described in Chapter 7, "Comments," and are available electronically here.


  Bug Proofing Visual Basic: Table of Contents  
Overview Table of Contents Updates
Source Code Comment Templates Sample Text
Discussion, Q & A Wiley Save 15%

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