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Cleaning Up Your Code: Good Names

Aaroh Mankad on December 28, 2017

This is an excerpt from my article "Cleaning Up Your Code" on Medium. I'll be publishing each section daily, read ahead on Medium! Programming is ...
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Alexandru Bucur

Also don't forget that in some cases it's perfectly valid to use 'short' names.

It's ok to use i for first iteration and then go to j , k etc for 'sub iterations' since it's a really common practice. Same for 2d/3d coordinates, x y z are perfectly valid, just remember to have it self contained in a decently named function.

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Aaroh Mankad Author

I completely agree!

For trivial pieces of code like for loops or even a function that just prints out an array, variable names aren't so important.

Naming conventions become more and more important once you start writing code that can't be trivially understood.

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Aleksi Kauppila

I completely disagree. There is no trivial code. For loops especially need to have clear variable naming. Iterating over i, j, may be a common practice but it does not make it less awful. It has to absolutely clear what data is processed inside a method. Are you sure you even know what to expect if you can't name it?

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Alexandru Bucur

Of course, for loops by definition point to an 'index' (hence the initial i), and that index is going to be called on a clear named variable.

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Aleksi Kauppila

Yes, "traditional" for-loops work that way... My opinion stems from mainly using languages that have an iterator-based for-loop where the "i" is not the index, but an item.