Commit 0d71e701 authored by Sébastien Wilmet's avatar Sébastien Wilmet

Write programming best practices to the hacking file

And add a few more code conventions and links.
parent 8664e3b6
......@@ -37,7 +37,7 @@ Commit guidelines
Please don't commit directly to the git repository unless
you have been given the green light to commit freely to gedit.
you have been given the green light to commit freely to gedit.
When in doubt assume you haven't ;-).
Please attach patches in bugzilla (
......@@ -52,7 +52,7 @@ fix typos in the code, etc.
Please send patches for build & configure fixes too. I really appreciate
your help, I just want to review these fixes before applying.
If you are a "build sheriff", feel free to commit fixes for build and
If you are a "build sheriff", feel free to commit fixes for build and
configure (please, send me an e-mail with the patch you have applied).
When committing to the gedit git repository make sure to include a
......@@ -102,6 +102,78 @@ conventions, but for new code it is better to follow them, for consistency.
- Follow the C89 standard. In particular, no "//"-style comments.
- As a general rule of thumb, follow the same coding style as the surrounding
- Do not be cheap about blank lines, spacing the code vertically help
readability. However never use two consecutive blank lines, there is really
no need.
Programming best practices
gedit is a pretty big piece of software, developed over the years by different
people and GNOME technologies. Some parts of the code may be a little old. So
when editing the code, we should try to make it better, not worse.
Here are some general advices.
- Simplicity: the simpler code the better. Any trick that seem smart when you
write it is going to bite your ass later when reading the code. Given that
you spend 90% of the time staring at the code and 10% writing it, making
reading the code harder is a net loss.
- Brevity: make an effort to refactor common code into utility functions and
use library function whenever is possible: every time you cut and paste a
line of code you are throwing away all the precious seconds of your life
that you will later spend trying to figure out the differences among the two
copies that will have surely diverged.
- Code for change: code is bound to contain bugs no matter how well it is
written. A good coding style allows to fix these bugs with minimal changes
instead of reformatting a whole section of unrelated code, this is
especially important to make patch review easier and to easily understand
the commit history. Some practical examples are:
- Factor code into self contained functions so that changing a function
does not require to change all the callers.
- Do not align variable declaration, "case" statements etc, since this
will inevitably mean that when a line will change you'll have to
reformat all the surrounding ones.
- Declare variables in the strictest scope as possible.
- Reorder functions so that you do not need prototypes for static
functions so that when you change them you need to change them only in
one place.
- Self documentation and code comments: use code comments parsimoniously. Code
should be written so that it is clear and evident without the need of
comments. Besides, comments usually get outdated when the code is changed
and they become misleading. In particular avoid stating the obvious e.g. "a
= 1; /* assign 1 to a */". Use good function names and variables to make the
code self-documented.
A good function name is one that explain clearly all what its code really
does. There shouldn't be hidden features. If you can not find easily a good
function name, you should probably split the function in smaller pieces. A
function should do only one thing, but do it well.
Please avoid lots of one-letter variables. And a variable should be used for
only one purpose.
Self-documentation is obviously not always possible, so when a comment is
needed, it is needed. In those cases make sure to explain why and not only
how a specific thing is done: you can deduce the "how" from the code, but
not the "why". Public library functions should always be documented and in
particular should include the calling conventions, e.g. if the result should
be freed by the caller.
Do not use fancy frames around comments like a line full of
/*---------------*/ etc.
See also
......@@ -109,6 +181,8 @@ See also
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