A Qualitative Justification for a Measure of Program Clarity

R.D. Gordon
1979 IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  
Several measures of program clarity have been proposed which attempt to assess the clarity of a program as a function of easily measured properties of the code. Such measures include the number of variables or statements, or the density of GO TO-s. The measure of program clarity developed In the field of software science equates the amount of -mental effort required to understand a program with the ratio of program volume to Implementation level. To be effective, a measure such as this should
more » ... flect the improvement in clarity which occurs when program transformations which make software easier to understand are appl ied. The removal of each of six impurity classes from poorly written programs is studied. For a suitably wide class of programs, such purification is properly reflected by the measure whi Ie alternate measures such as the number of statements do not exhibit the proper behavior.
doi:10.1109/tse.1979.234168 fatcat:scoecydlszb37mns423rkbjdma