The Ten Commandments of C Style
A remedial course for caps criminals
by Lawrence Lile
Woe be to those errant scribes who ignore capitalization in the writing of
the C program, and a plague of frogs on those who turn off the switch of
Thou shalt not capitalize statements such as the "if " or the "for " .
CONSTANTS shall be shouted to the multitudes in all caps, from every rooftop
and steeple, as they are the unchanging firmament and change not through
all time, and woe be to those that confuse them with variables.
Those Types and Structures which are user defined shall be presented with
the first letter capitalized, as they are the high born, lest they be confused
with the lesser variables, nor with the shouted CONSTANTS.
variables shall be lower case, even as they start a sentence, for they are
the low and common peasant workers doing the everyday drudgery of programming
work, and must not be confused with the high-born Structures, nor with the
ever-stable firmament of CONSTANTS.
Brothers have come to blows o'er the use of long variable names, with many
favouring the internal capitalization, thus the use of long int
numberOfPeopleInHell; whereas others have countered with heated words that
the proper way would be long int number_of_people_in_hell. Woe be to those
who use either name, for it is likely not unique in the first six to eight
letters, making some compilers gnash their teeth, while the true scope of
the number of people in hell would vastly exceed the capacity of the long
int, causing the dreaded plague which infecteth, locketh-up and rebooteth
all computers from the lowly PIC to the mighty Cray.
While much blood has been shed over the issue of the curly brace, and many
are the programmers that have argued that opening curly braces should go
on their own line, while others have protested with sword-in-hand that they
must go on the same line as the statement, and many have come to blows over
this, the closing curly brace shall be indented to the same level as the
Thou shalt not comment the obvious. Those rapscallions and heathens who penned
i++; // Add one to i
shall be forever banned from the inner circle of C, though their resume grow
long and their accomplishments and finished code stretch out before them
like a lake of ASCII text. Likewise, any code which is not obvious, or obfuscates
and bebothers the user, shall be extensively commented so as to make clear
the intent of the programmer.
Thou shalt comment the author, date, and revision of each C program, and
lo, other comments shall be brief, descriptive, to the point, yet clear as
the purest mountain spring water in their explanation and clarification of
the code. Each function shall have as its companion a description of its
function, its inputs and outputs, as each dog has its day and each actor
his moment on the stage. Thou shalt document the purpose of each and every
I/O pin in an embedded processor, and for each variable, data member or Structure
there shall be a comment which shall illuminate and enlighten the reader
of the program as to its use.
Thou shalt properly indent programs, each subservient function being indented
one level more than its master.
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<A HREF="http://massmind.org/techref/language/ccpp/10CStyle.htm"> The Ten Commandments of C Style</A>