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Programming Assignment Guidelines
Platform: You should use Java 6, making appropriate use of generics and JUnit. The course staff will assume you are using the Eclipse IDE, though we won't require this. All the software you need for the course is available for free and is pre-installed on the machines (Windows or Linux) in the department's undergraduate computing labs.
Robustness: Your primary task is to create a working, robust program. This means that your program should produce correct answers on all legal input and produce comprehensible error messages on invalid input. Keep in mind that (unless otherwise mentioned) unreasonably long running time is probably an error. How should you ensure robustness? Well, at the least, try to complete these steps without problems before submitting your code:
Coding clearly: You should always make an effort to write code that is easy for other people to read. In the real world, this is an important skill that is valued more highly than cleverness or using the least number of lines/characters possible. In this class, it is important so that we can understand your program and grade it fairly. By reading through your code and comments, we should be able to figure out how your code is organized and why it works (or fails). If we can't, we reserve the right to deduct points. In general we will follow coding style guidelines established in cse 143.
Speed: As long as your program takes a reasonable amount of time, we will neither dock points nor give bonus points on the basis of speed. In other words, all of your data structures should have the expected asymptotic time and space complexity, but the constants will not generally matter. Robustness and clarity come first!
Using Java Class Libraries: Unless specifically approved or directed to, you should not use Java class libraries in your programming assignments to implement data structures and algorithms that are your responsibility. This rule is admittedly in contrast to many situations in the real world, but a large goal of this course is to fully understand core data structures that are so widely useful that Java provides them in its standard library. Often such understanding comes from implementing them yourself.
Computer Science & Engineering|
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
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