Skeleton (computer science)

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Skeleton programming is a style of computer programming based on simple high-level program structures and so called dummy code. Program skeletons resemble pseudocode, but allows parsing, compilation and testing of the code.

Dummy code is inserted in a program skeleton to simulate processing and avoid compilation error messages. It may involve empty function declarations, or functions that return a correct result only for a simple test case where the expected response of the code is known.

Skeleton programming facilitates a top-down design approach, where a partially-functional system with complete high-level structures is designed and coded, and this system is then progressively expanded to fulfill the requirements of the project.

Program skeletons are sometimes used for high-level descriptions of algorithms.

A program skeleton may also be utilized as a template that reflects syntax and structures commonly used in a wide class of problems.

Skeleton programs are utilized in the template method design pattern used in object-oriented programming. See that article for examples of skeleton programs.

In object-oriented programming, dummy code corresponds to an abstract method, a method stub or a mock object.

See also

de:Skeleton (Programmierung)


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