Coding standard: Prefixing variables to indicate datatype
James J. Besemer
jb at cascade-sys.com
Fri Jan 17 10:00:14 CET 2003
Jonathan P. wrote:
> I first encountered Hungarian notation in a Byte article
> written by Simonyi himself. Couldn't make much heads or
> tails out the article and frankly was annoyed at how
> complicated it seemed (and how much grief it gives to the
> programmer). That annoyance at the article turned to
> real world frustration when trying to program for Win32.
> The idea of Hungarian notation as practiced by Microsoft
> is really _ugly_.
I always hated it too. I find that merely picking good names for classes is
usually sufficient if not superior.
However, in all fairness to Simonyi, he developed Hungarian notation
literally decades ago, at a time when C compilers did not do any type
checking and yet the types of variables mattered greatly. It was easy to
mistake ints and floats or much worse chars, char pointers and ints, with
disastrous results. In fact, I think he used it for assembly language
programming before he used it for C. In the absence of any substantial
abstraction constructs and in the context of a very type unsafe environment,
Hungarian wasn't such a crazy idea. I personally STILL don't think it was
worth the effort -- then or now -- but in the context of the time it wasn't
so crazy as it may seem today.
James J. Besemer 503-280-0838 voice
2727 NE Skidmore St. 503-280-0375 fax
Portland, Oregon 97211-6557 mailto:jb at cascade-sys.com
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