Modular programming refers to the program that helps a PHP developer subdivide a computer program into individual sub-programs. A module is a distinct component of software that can be used in an array of functions and components with other elements of a system. A developer groups similar elements in one unit of programming code. Separate functions are built as individual units of code so other applications can reuse the code. The modular programing concept is largely compatible with object-oriented programming (OOP). Modular programming makes it possible for multiple programmers to divide the available work and debug each program separately.

Modular programming has modules which enhance maintainability, and enforce boundaries among the available components. Interfaces are used to incorporate the modules, and the design of the interfaces is such that they help reduce the interdependence of modules. Various teams of PHP developers can develop modules individually, and they do not need to understand all the modules of the system.

Every modular application has a distinct version number which it associates itself with. This helps developers enjoy some flexibility in the maintenance of modules. If a module needs any changes associated with it, the changes will be implemented through the affected sub-routines. Such changes make it easy to read and understand the program.

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Modular programming has numerous auxiliary modules, and the main module. To compile the main module, a PHP developer has to use an executable (EXE) file which helps to call the functions of the auxiliary module. All auxiliary modules are found as individual executable files that help to load the main executable (EXE) runs. Every module is assigned a unique name in the PROGRAM statement. If it is mandatory to export the functions of the main module, the function names in all modules should be made in such a manner that they can be accessed easily. Erlang, Zonnon, Morpho, FORTRAN, RPG, COBOL, and IBM Assembler are some of the programs that module concept. Many developers love modular programming language because of its many benefits, some of which are:

  • It stores code in multiple files

  • It does not have a lot of code to write

  • The code is easy to understand, simple, and short

  • Various applications can use the same code

  • It is easy to design programs since a minute team deals with a small portion of the whole code

  • It is easy to control the scoping of variables

  • Developers find it easy to identify errors since they are localized to a function or a subroutine

  • A developer can build a single procedure and reuse it, doing away with the need to retype the code multiple times.

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What is the essence of the existence of modularity?

It exists due to the human side of program development. A computer does not require an exaggerated version and a broken-down version of code to run it. The cognitive limitations of humans force them to write code in smaller pieces. If a developer deals with temporary contexts, this becomes critical. For instance, if you are writing to any file, but you find a condition comes up that requires you to write to any other file, you are obliged to forget about the first one and its related data and focus on the new one. What tips will help to develop a modular code even if you have a minimal context?

1. Isolate all logical expressions using variables

You can handle every temporary context by inserting logic in the variables. A developer should take advantage of the fact that logical expressions reduce to the Boolean value. Almost every programming language allows you to do this. Such small ideas of modularization are important, since they help you understand the code has a continuous flow, like a story. It will not appear like a pattern of formulas that are not connected. For every change you make to your code, try to understand if the change helps in improving the logic. You should not make changes to code only to make it less coherent.

2. Use nested functions to summarize any code blocks

When you are writing code you might realize some repetition, and that repetition prompts you to create another independent function. Most languages allow PHP developers to develop a new function using the same namespace, and this is where the significance of nested JavaScript functions come into play. A developer can place one function in another, so the original method can help to access the internal function. If you use IDEs with code folding, this technique becomes interesting. The IDEs allow you, the user, to fold the internal and the external functions together. This is faster than folding each function at a time.

3. Use block-scoped variables to prohibit data access

Some programming languages such as C++, JavaScript (ES6), and C allow the user to define the variables that can be accessed in a block. That insinuates that no one can accidentally access a variable later, or in any other iteration of the same loop. This comes in handy when a user wants to encapsulate the access of data to the little part of the code. Any slight change to the code causes ripples throughout the program. If a user modifies too much code in a program, such modification will have a heavy influence on the code base. If a user has a large code base, a slight change will have a large impact. The block-scoped variables allow PHP developers to avoid the bugs that come as a result of accidental modifications on data. The block-scoped variables localize whatever impact the changes may have. Though block scopes allow a developer to reuse variable names, this is not their primary function. The real advantage is when they block any access to the internal data. They help you develop a safety net that helps you to ignore all internal variables in case the bug affects the external variables.

4. Plan before you code

When did you last sit and plan how you would approach a certain project? What frameworks do you intend to use? How many browsers will your program support? You can easily get into a project and start working on it, only to realize when you are almost finished that you need to rewrite a portion of the code. Plan the libraries you need to use so you may avoid undue delays and bugs.

5. Make use of version control

Version control records any changes made to a file, or group of files, for some time. It allows many users to host assets, track changes, and edit the code. Some of the services that enable version control are GitHub, Assembla, and Bitbucket. If you need to develop the best modular code, use GitHub since it endorses social coding, which means users can see each other’s code on GitHub as they learn how to improve their work.

6. Undertake coding challenges

There are numerous resources online which are aimed at giving developers challenges on the languages they use daily. Most of the sites have a large community that is ready to help. You should not worry about getting stuck and being unable to work. You can use Code Wars to brush up your modular programming abilities, and the Practice App to access an array of modular programming challenges.

If you have more tips about writing modular code, leave them in the comment section below.


Posted 25 November, 2017


Software Developer

Lucy is the Development & Programming Correspondent for She is currently based in Sydney.

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