I think that we actually do agree. I never intended to infer anything about a level of formality. I certainly do not have any written standards for myself. I do try to form the habit of doing the same task the same way. The larger the team, the more formality is required. In all cases, standards are primarily for the benefit of the maintenance programmer. If experience proves otherwise, they probably should be revised or abandoned. Standards are not meant to be a straightjacket. Sometimes exceptions are appropriate. Document the reason.