A study of different coding styles affecting code readability

Taek Lee, Jung Been Lee, Hoh Peter In

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


During software programming, code readability is very important because it affects the understanding of the code context, facilitates communication and collaboration between team members, and it avoids problematic software maintenance. In this study, our research hypothesis was that the coding style affects the code readability. Developers who do not comply with coding conventions and guidelines may be more likely to produce code with a low level of readability. To test this hypothesis, we investigated coding rule violations in the source code files of five open source projects and correlated the observed violations with the scores rated by a readability estimation function. We tested whether significant violations of coding conventions affected the readability of developed codes and identified the violations that were related specifically to low readability quality. We consider that our findings will improve the understanding of programmers so they can take appropriate action to generate better quality code

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Software Engineering and its Applications
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Code readability
  • Coding convention
  • Coding guidelines
  • Coding style
  • Software metrics
  • Software quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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