In the future I hope to expand on this list. In general though, strive to follow the basics of the Unix Philosophy.

Law of Demeter

You should only know what your close friends tell you - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Demeter

  • Each unit should have only limited knowledge about other units: only units “closely” related to the current unit.

  • Each unit should only talk to its friends; don’t talk to strangers.

  • Only talk to your immediate friends.

Principle of least astonishment

Boring behavior is the new exciting - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_astonishment

  • “…when two elements of an interface conflict, or are ambiguous, the behaviour should be that which will least surprise the user…”

The “UNIX Way”

(Doing) less is more - http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/ch01s06.html

  • Write programs that do one thing and do it well.

Make good with what you’re given, complain if you can’t

Rule of Repair: Repair what you can — but when you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/ch01s06.html#id2878538

  • Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send