Make Example Code Copy Pastable Better world by better software

Based on my personal anecdata, I’d say that most programmers don’t copy/paste entire applications together, but it’s really hard to say for sure. Going out and grabbing entire methods or systems to paste them into my project as-is and call it done is something I don’t understand. There was a question on StackOverflow the other day that perfectly illustrated the problem with doing something like that. I’ve always said ‘a good developer is a lazy developer’.

What does Ctrl R do?

Alternatively referred to as Control+R, ^r, and C-r, Ctrl+R is a keyboard shortcut most often used to refresh the page in an Internet browser.

Actually thinking about your comments, I honestly have to wonder if its possible for a programmer to cut & paste a complete system together. I think the weight of their hubris would quickly avalanche, crushing their progress to a standstill.

Try to make your code snippets the real things someone can paste into the file and use right away.

The procedural programming model strongly discourages the copy-and-paste approach to repetitive tasks. Such code is termed “well decomposed”, and is recommended as being easier to read and more readily extensible. Adherents of object oriented methodologies further object to the “code library” use of copy and paste. Instead of making multiple mutated copies of a generic algorithm, an object oriented approach would abstract the algorithm into a reusable encapsulated class. The class is written flexibly, with full support of inheritance and overloading, so that all calling code can be interfaced to use this generic code directly, rather than mutating the original. As additional functionality is required, the library is extended . This way, if the original algorithm has a bug to fix or can be improved, all software using it stands to benefit.

copying code

If you have any of your own tips to share, please share here in comments. State changes – Changes made to the licensed material must be documented. Same license – Modifications must be released under the same license when distributing the licensed material. Patent use – The license provides an express grant of patent rights from contributors.

Apply code style from another language

If you work for a large company, you may want to check with your company’s best practices. This is exactly what I will discuss in this article. I will clearly explain the best practices of copying and pasting someone else’s code in your projects and also not get in trouble. This means you have copied someone else’s work in your project. According to a poll by C# Corner, 75% of coders have copied and pasted code in their projects.

  • But I keep it small…I never copy more than a few lines of code, and never anything I don’t understand completely.
  • I don’t reinvent the wheel if someone else has already done it.
  • Copy-and-paste programming may also be a result of poor understanding of features common in computer languages, such as loop structures, functions and subroutines.
  • Eventually, you’ll end with good code in the end, even if you copy and paste.
  • Documentation remains the best place to copy code.
  • The Subtext programming language is a research project aimed at “decriminalizing” cut and paste.
  • Not only will this give proper credit to the person who originally wrote the code, but it will also inform the other people reading your code.

I shared my first open-source project in 1999 written on the website in C++. And when you’re not a beginner, blindly copying code will open you up to the security vulnerabilities I mentioned at the beginning of the article. Even if you properly attribute the code, you can’t rely on other people to check for vulnerabilities in your code. Because they may need a small modification, these code snippets can’t be shunted into a separate function or dependency. For the record, I’m not advocating that you copy and paste code from our public Q&A site willy nilly, there are instances where it can get you in trouble. But, as our podcast guest Anna Lytical showed us, it can be done well to quickly produce functioning prototypes. In some languages, for example, in PHP, there are predefined coding standards that you can upload to the IDE and apply to your code.

Seeing is believing: The Stack Overflow Podcast now available as video

It’s one of the best assets an experienced programmer can bring to the table because it’ll potentially save a lot of development time. The commenting in code should be easy enough so if someone reads your code, they should understand by just reading comments, what your code does and how it works. If you have copied code somewhere and changed it, keep a reference to the original source. Not only that will credit the original author but also give new developers a reference if anything has changed recently. If it is not optimized, make sure to optimize it while you’re rewriting it. As I said in the previous point, you must rewrite any copied code in your own language, comment it properly so anyone can understand it, and also write unit tests if possible. It’s an open secret among coders that some of the example code that gets posted as part of answers here at Stack Overflow ends up in production code.

  • The choice is to whether save a little time initially compared to a lot later, then copy and paste is the way to go, otherwise refactore and put it in a common library.
  • No matter where you copy code from such as Github, online forums, blogs, or technical samples, you must understand licenses, and terms of use.
  • It’s not that they cannot write good quality code but it’s possible that they may not understand the code quality, speed, and performance.
  • I’m not being paid to steal, plagiarize or infringe on other people’s copyright putting my client at risk of prosecution.
  • DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) also applies here, just in a different sense.
  • Then spend a few hours understand it to see if it really is the massively super-fast thing I was after, or a naive pile of junk.
  • For the record, I’m not advocating that you copy and paste code from our public Q&A site willy nilly, there are instances where it can get you in trouble.
  • I would go on a limb and say that the most productive programmers are those who do it frequently.

A pattern that I can abstract, turn into a library component, and remove duplicated code. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search.

Copy-and-paste programming

We deliver solutions based on consumer and industry analysis. Network use is distribution – Users who interact with the licensed material via network are given the right to receive a copy of the source code.

Grabbing parts of my own work from my personal library is fair game. The next thing I highly recommend is, rewrite it in your own language and syntaxes. But when you’re done with the final code, nobody should be able to say, this is the exact code copied from somewhere else. While they all allow you to use source code for private and commercial use, most of them require you to include a copy of the license and copyright notice with the material used. The only proper vaccination to security vulnerabilities from copied code is understanding what you’ve copied and writing the right tests for your code. If you’re a developer learning a new language, for example, you’ll benefit from digging deeper into the code you want to copy to understand why it works the way it does. If it takes you months to work up the courage to write code, then programming might not be the right vocation for you.

Good artists borrow, great artists steal

Put yourself into the user’s shoes and over-explain everything in the code example. The users, if they copy your code would lose all context, right? Thus you need to generously add the code comments, hoping the would be included in the pasted code. Any user reading the code later should understand what is going on from those comments. In this blog post I will list my tips for making your code examples easier to find and use. Try to make your code snippets the real things someone can paste into the file and use right away. Use of programming idioms and design patterns are similar to copy-and-paste programming, as they also use formulaic code.

How do I copy without Ctrl C?

Alternatively, ⌘ + V . You can also right-click on the mouse or trackpad. If you don't have a right-click function, press Control +click on Mac, then click Paste in the pop-up menu.

If anything, copying code can make sense, particularly for idioms or boilerplate code, but also when you have a question that someone already wrote a perfect answer for. Copying code can make you more efficient, and developers are generally very efficient people. Why reinvent the wheel if you understand what the code is doing, have permission to reuse the code , and you don’t necessarily need all of the code the other person wrote. I frequently copy an algorithm implementation and modify it to my own needs. Usually though when I just cut and paste it is because I don’t need everything that was in the example so adding another file would just be a waste (or it’s something inside a function).

Article was published on: 10/21/22

Author: Viktor Nikolaev

Victor is a professional crypto investor and stockbroker, specializing in such areas as trading on the stock exchange, cryptov currencies, forex, stocks and bonds. In this blog he shares the secrets of trading, current currency indices, crypt currency rates and tells about the best forex brokers. If you have any questions, you can always contact

Leave a Reply