Naming guideline


1, General

1.1, abbreviation

Avoid cryptic abbreviation and too abstract name.

Because main users of the ML are in academic community, their codes tend to have a style like mathematic expressions in which entities are abstracted and given very simple name, such as "x" or "f". But, actual application programs, including the compiler, are some kind of description of the real world. Entities in the code represent concrete entities in the world, most of which have their own name.

Imagine that you are a reader, not a writer. Especially when giving name to public entities, you should take convenience of users and readers of your code into consideration. (In ML, public entities include top level modules and their top level bindings.)

See the class names in the Java library. You can find that names are full length. For example, "FormatFlagsConversionMismatchException" and "ClientRequestInterceptorOperations" at the extreme.

Burden of using long name is not so much for users. Many editors and shells provide auto-completion. And, in ML, long name can be abbreviated by using alias declaration, if needed:

 structure M = XXXXXXXX

1.2, General rules

  1. If a name is composed of conjunction of words, the first character of each word should be upper case except for the first word.
  2. Avoid abbreviation, especially in name of public entities preferably. Exceptions are commonly used abbreviations.
  3. When using abbreviation, every abbreviated word should be composed of upper case characters only.

For example, "staticenv" should be renamed to "StaticEnv" according to the fist rule, and to "StaticENV" according to the third rule. The first rule and the second rule are highly recommended to be obeyed.

1.3, Module name

Modules of the IML compiler can be classified into data module and processor module.

Each processor module has its main task. Then, it is one of natural idea to take name of a processor module from its main task.

For example, a module which infers type of terms should be given name like "TypeInferencer" (for structure) or "TYPE_INFERENCER" (for signature).

1.4, File name

Match the file name and the module name. When exploring source files, it is very inconvenient if the name of module and the name of the file in which the module is defined do not match. And automatic processing by Make or other tools will be difficult also.

This rule assumes that only one of top level module is declared in each source file.

Last modified:2006/02/21 22:49:57