(standards.info)Preface


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1 About the GNU Coding Standards
********************************

The GNU Coding Standards were written by Richard Stallman and other GNU
Project volunteers.  Their purpose is to make the GNU system clean,
consistent, and easy to install.  This document can also be read as a
guide to writing portable, robust and reliable programs.  It focuses on
programs written in C, but many of the rules and principles are useful
even if you write in another programming language.  The rules often
state reasons for writing in a certain way.

   This release of the GNU Coding Standards was last updated February
23, 2008.

   If you did not obtain this file directly from the GNU project and
recently, please check for a newer version.  You can get the GNU Coding
Standards from the GNU web server in many different formats, including
the Texinfo source, PDF, HTML, DVI, plain text, and more, at:
`http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards/'.

   Corrections or suggestions for this document should be sent to
<bug-standards@gnu.org>.  If you make a suggestion, please include a
suggested new wording for it; our time is limited.  We prefer a context
diff to the `standards.texi' or `make-stds.texi' files, but if you
don't have those files, please mail your suggestion anyway.

   These standards cover the minimum of what is important when writing a
GNU package.  Likely, the need for additional standards will come up.
Sometimes, you might suggest that such standards be added to this
document.  If you think your standards would be generally useful, please
do suggest them.

   You should also set standards for your package on many questions not
addressed or not firmly specified here.  The most important point is to
be self-consistent--try to stick to the conventions you pick, and try
to document them as much as possible.  That way, your program will be
more maintainable by others.

   The GNU Hello program serves as an example of how to follow the GNU
coding standards for a trivial program.
`http://www.gnu.org/software/hello/hello.html'.


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