I understand that naming conventions for code have an element of personal preference, and can be subjective and argumentative, which isn't the goal of these sites.

But, I'm really looking for feedback on demonstrating that some current naming conventions I'm forced to use hurt readability and do more harm than good. Where should I ask this question? Stack Overflow? Or does this belong on the Software Engineering site?

  • 7
    I will tell you before anyone suggests it: do not ask on English. They're not there to be a tool for naming your classes.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 10, 2011 at 13:06
  • 3
    @Grace, if you hadn't included that link, I would've thought you were joking, due to the sheer ridiculousness of the concept.
    – Pops
    May 10, 2011 at 14:12
  • The tag naming-standards is being used on SE.SE. I answered one such question myself. Any such answer should be backed up by linking to the naming convention Standards for the question being asked, and not simply be one person's opinion or experience. Note that there is an answer that is nine years old from the moderator (edited an hour ago) discouraging asking there in most but not every circumstance; and that he'll act on flags if they appear.
    – Rob
    Mar 12, 2020 at 10:41
  • Thing is: the human brain can adapt. Seriously, I hated the java style I was forced to use in my job. Nothing did make sense. After a few weeks, I adapted. In the next job, I took me again a few weeks to forget the nonsense, and come back to something that resembled more how the rest of the world is doing things. So, be careful where you put your energy. (but sure, fighting people who want to force you to say use hungarian notation ... might be a good thing)
    – GhostCat
    Mar 12, 2020 at 11:49

3 Answers 3


Please don't ask on Software Engineering.

There are already several questions on this subject, none of which are particularly useful.

The most important thing about a naming convention is that you are consistent and follow (broadly) industry practice for your language, so really there's nothing much more to say.

  • 3
    What about "What is the industry practice for naming <element:foo> in <language:bar>"? May 10, 2011 at 13:25
  • Thanks for pointing this out, I should have done some searching on Programmers first. Basically, I want to elaborate on this answer. Does this warrant a new question?
    – wsanville
    May 10, 2011 at 13:51
  • @Joachim - that might be OK, but it is something that's fairly easily discoverable so it would depend on who saw the question first ;)
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 10, 2011 at 14:05
  • @wsanville - why do you want to elaborate on that answer?
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 10, 2011 at 14:06
  • I want to figure out for sure that other programmers find that style of naming extremely insane and unreadable.
    – wsanville
    May 10, 2011 at 14:11
  • @wsanville - I don't think it would really be a constructive question, but if you really want to ask it go ahead. I'll only respond to any flags it might earn. I can't speak for the other moderators though - they might not agree with me.
    – ChrisF Mod
    May 10, 2011 at 14:14

Some example questions, to judge by precedent below. I picked such that have considerable upvotes, though a lot such questions are downvoted (the choice is not representative):

You need to judge for yourself if your question is interesting enough. As you can see some old questions got many upvotes, but several also got closed as off-topic.

For SO, you can consider whether your question is a "practical, answerable problem that is unique to software development".


I think Programmers is the best location to ask such a question. As ChrisF's answer indicates, the question probably already exists and a new one would just be closed as a duplicate. If you could be specific enough in your question it might stay open, but you most likely would get a bunch of subjective answers that would not help you much.

  • 1
    See the comment on ChrisF's answer, does that sound specific enough?
    – wsanville
    May 10, 2011 at 13:51
  • @wsanville, yes, but will I wonder if such a question will provide any meaningful answers.
    – jzd
    May 10, 2011 at 14:15
  • Where, honestly, this isn't subjective at all. The real answer is: there are conventions that simply do not make sense any more (like hungarian notation, which is no longer useful due to the fact that any decent editor can nowadays tell you the type of your variables, so no need to hardcode it). And for the rest: the objective answer is that such conventions are subjective, and therefore should try to follow "what everyone else does", combined with "be consistent".
    – GhostCat
    Mar 12, 2020 at 14:07

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