Snarf and Barf Programming

What Does Snarf and Barf Programming Mean?

Snarf and barf programming is a commonly known practice in which a programmer applies a portion of code from an existing program or source, often through a direct cut and paste method, to a program under development. This type of "copying" can help programmers take shortcuts but not without unanticipated problems.


Techopedia Explains Snarf and Barf Programming

The code refactoring process – a snarf and barf programming challenge – involves changing code structure to make it receptive to newly added code modules, or other changes. This is a complicated process, and integrating new portions of code to an existing program can be difficult.

Also, the use of snarf and barf programming may lead to a greater analysis of code philosophy, or fundamental programming approaches. For example, many analyze the ways that individuals use code talk surrounding the abstraction principle, which promotes using abstractions to facilitate the avoidance of program data duplication. This concept is promoted through acronyms like Once and Only Once (OAOO), where programmers are prompted to create templates and other tools allowing them to bypass repetitive or redundant coding.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…