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Ward Vandewege, 03/19/2014 03:43 PM

Coding Standards

The rules are always up for debate. However, when debate is needed, it should happen outside the source tree. In other words, if the rules are wrong, first debate the rules in IRC etc., then fix the rules, then follow the new rules.

Git commits

Make sure your name and email address are correct.

  • Use git config --global et al.
  • It's a little unfortunate to have commits with author foo@myworkstation.local but not bad enough to rewrite history, so fix this before you push!

Use descriptive commit comments.

  • Describe the delta between the old and new tree. If possible, describe the delta in behavior rather than the source code itself.
  • Good: "Support use of spaces in filenames."
  • Good: "Fix crash when user_id is nil."
  • Less good: "Add some controller methods." (What do they do?)
  • Less good: "More progress on UI branch." (What is different?)
  • Less good: "Incorporate Tom's suggestions." (Who cares whose suggestions -- what changed?)

If further background or explanation is needed, separate it from the summary with a blank line.

  • Example: "Users found it confusing that the boxes had different colors even though they represented the same kinds of things."

Refer to issues in git commits.

  • Redmine notices "refs #12345" and "closes #12345" and "fixes #12345" in commit messages, and links to the commits from the issue page.

Source files

No TAB characters in source files.

  • Emacs: use (setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil) or equivalent.
  • Vim: add to your .vimrc:
  :set expandtab

No whitespace at the end of lines (by default, git diff will highlight such whitespace if you are in a color terminal)

No commented-out blocks of code that have been replaced or obsoleted.

  • It is in the git history if we want it back.
  • If its absence would confuse someone reading the new code (despite never having read the old code), explain its absence in an English comment. If the old code is really still needed to support the English explanation, then go ahead -- now we know why it's there.

No commented-out debug statements.

  • If the debug statements are likely to be needed in the future, use a logging facility that can be enabled at run time. logger.debug "foo"

Adopt indentation style of surrounding lines or (when starting a new file) the nearest existing source code in this tree/language.

If you fix up existing indentation/formatting, do that in a separate commit.

  • If you bundle formatting changes with functional changes, it makes functional changes hard to find in the diff.

Updated by Ward Vandewege about 10 years ago · 4 revisions