Underscores, camels and insane madness of modern programming styles

So, I went over several articles related to programming style, after I noted that basically every modern project uses some special formatting, which even if I am familiar with, I never liked.

I decided to take programming styles little bit more in a detail from technical perspective and made some interesting conclusions.

In past, when GNU project started, most of programmers followed the so called “ISO” style (which is known as Allman see wikipedia) which I kind of like, even if I could think of better one.

This style uses opening and closing bracket for every function on separate line, for example

void Foo(int Bar)
    printf ("%i", Bar);

Unfortunatelly this style has two disadvantages. I love that allman style put brackets vertically on same position – that makes it just perfectly simple to “parse by eyes” and you never get lost in brackets, unfortunately, GNU does pretty weird indentations, probably because old code was developed in 85×24 terminals, so they really needed to keep it low on width.

Nowadays, most of programmers like to write code using style that makes the code “cute” but awfully hard to read, error prone and ineffective.

It’s not just that K&R put brackets in a way, that you can save one line (like if that was actually needed), but can’t figure out which bracket matches which. But also the letter cases are pretty weird. I discovered this great post: http://whathecode.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/camelcase-vs-underscores-scientific-showdown/ you really should check it out. It perfectly describes pro’s and cons of camelCase over underscore_name and I can tell you, I can see why most of respondents changed their mind after reading the article. Underscores, are clearly better in almost everything, and only argument why camelCase is better was “it is more cute”.

I think this kind of reflects the modern programming trends. Programmers, instead of making effective code, write cute code…

Even if I am not a big fan of Microsoft, I must say that code they use in their examples and Visual Studio has modern and very effective styling which I find extremely easy to read.

They basically use NormalCases and vertically matching brackets for everything, as well as 4 spaces to indent. Which indeed need more space than GNU’s 2 spaces, but make the code easier to read on modern screens with high resolutions. So no matter how people blame Microsoft for everything, this is a style I like and probably going to use in most of my projects, no matter of language. It may not be “cutest” but at least it makes the code easy to read.

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