In computer programming, self-documenting (or self-describing) source code and user interfaces follow naming conventions and structured programming conventions that enable use of the system without prior specific knowledge. In web development, self-documenting refers to a website that exposes the entire process of its creation through public documentation, and whose public documentation is part of the development process.
Commonly stated objectives for self-documenting systems include:
Self-documenting code is ostensibly written using human-readable names, typically consisting of a phrase in a human language which reflects the symbol's meaning, such as numberOfWordsInThisArticle or TryOpen. The code must also have a clear and clean structure so that a human reader can easily understand the algorithm used.
There are certain practical considerations that influence whether and how well the objectives for a self-documenting system can be realized.
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