Coding Conventions(Amarjeet)

Coding conventions are a set of guidelines for a specific programming language that recommend programming style, practices and methods for each aspect of a piece program written in this language.

Coding standards

Where coding conventions have been specifically designed to produce high-quality code, and have then been formally adopted, they then become coding standards.

Coding conventions

  • Comment conventions

  • Indent style conventions

  • Line length conventions

  • Naming conventions

  • Programming style conventions


Due to time restrictions or enthusiastic programmers who want immediate
results for their code, commenting of code often takes a back seat.
Programmers working as a team have found it better to leave comments behind
 since coding usually follows cycles, or more than one person may work on a
particular module. However, some commenting can decrease the cost of
knowledge transfer between developers working on the same module.

In the early days of computing, one commenting practice was to leave a brief
 description of the following:

  -  Name of the module.
  -  Purpose of the Module.
  -  Description of the Module (In brief).
  -  Original Author
  -  Modifications
  - Authors who modified code with a description on why it was modified.

Programs written only for the machine have two problems:

They are difficult to correct because sometimes even the
author does not understand them.

Modifications and upgrades are difficult to make because the
maintenance programmer must spend a considerable
amount of time figuring out what the program does from its

/* This is the comment body. Variation One. */

/********\ * * * This is the comment body. * * Variation Two. * * * ************\

/* This is the style recommended by Holub for C and C++. * It is demonstrated in ‘‘Enough Rope’’, in rule 29. */

/* This is another way to do it, also in C. ** It is easier to do in editors that do not automatically indent the second ** through last lines of the comment one space from the first. ** It is also used in Holub’s book, in rule 31. */


FIXME - should be corrected.
HACK - a workaround.
TODO - something to be done.
UNDONE - a reversal or "roll back" of previous code.
XXX - warn other programmers of problematic or misguiding code
UX - user experience, notice about non-trivial code.

Naming conventions

Use of proper naming conventions is considered good practice. Sometimes
programmers tend to use X1, Y1, etc. as variables and forget to replace them
 with meaningful ones, causing confusion.

In order to prevent this waste of time, it is usually considered good
practice to use descriptive names in the code since we deal with real data.
Example: A variable for taking in weight as a parameter for a truck can be
named TrkWeight or TruckWeightKilograms, with TruckWeightKilograms being the more
preferable one, since it is instantly recognisable.

Indent style

Placement of braces

    if (total <= 0) {
        std::cout << "You owe nothing\n";
        total = 0;
    } else {
        std::cout << "You owe " << total << " dollars\n";
        all_totals = all_totals + total;
    In this case, most of the curly braces are put on the same line
    as the statements. The other style puts the curly braces on
    lines by themselves:
        while (! done)
            std::cout << "Processing\n";
            next_entry( );
Tabs, spaces, and size of indent

Characters per line


The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 10 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.

  1. Various ways to write comments like inline

VArious tags like Fixme, XXX, HACK etc

What is the meaning of XX tag?

  1. Variable name should be meaningful. Define variables locally also. Avoid global variables.

  2. Use indentations because it maintain consistency and looks beautiful.

Different ways are there to put brackets.

If we start bracket after for loop directly in the same line, it is closed method.

What is the name of the method in which bracket came in next line?

  1. Characters per line






THe first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.

Division of program and functions is a good practice of programming.

Function defined inside the class is by default inline function.

Commenting on function which is declared in class and defined outside.