Blending In

There are a multitude of different coding styles - and they usually differ widely between languages and environments. But it all comes down to two extremes: short and long.

In a Unix (read: ANSI or pre-ANSI C) environment the dominating style is the short one. It usually reads like a strange version of English written in a Latin-transcribed Hebrew alphabet: strtr, creat, malloc, yhwh (well, maybe not yhwh, but you get the point). Additionally, Unix and C are more or less free of upper-case letters.

The other extreme is the OOP world: their camelCase or MixedCase style looks like… well, a camel? Uh… yeah, sure looks like a camel. And as you know, those guys tend to use really long names: getLengthOfStringAsInteger and so on.

Ok, introduction done - main point:

No matter what style you think is better: blend in and use the style of the existing code for heaven’s sake!

Mixing these styles sucks. Hard time.

lotat = getListOfThisAndThatByFooId(foo.getId());

Really, even if listOfThisAndThat feels too long to write it out each and every time (which it does, at least for me): do not shorten it.

It is called listOfThisAndThat and that is how you must name it.

Or else, everyone coming along afterwards - with the longCamelCaseNames parsing mode activated - will take lotat for a proper name or something - and will have to waste time going back through the code, trying to find out what the hell it really is.

The worst style is no style at all.

See Also

Previously: You Asked For It - You Got It

Next up: Nice Hacks 1

The machine thinks that the Web-Log entries Blending In, Purely Functional Games, and 26th Ludum Dare - Postmortem might be related to the topic so eloquently discussed above. The machine is sometimes right.