Short variable names should use less memory, which is mostly irrelevant
these days.
In an open project where other people could be working on the same code
(or other code in the same package) it helps if all names are
Personally I could never figure out what variable naming conventions
are.  Each class I write seems to provide reason to use an entirely new
As long as someone who has never seen your code before can determine the
purpose of each variable, I'd say you're good.
If that requires comments, definitely add comments.  When in doubt,


From: Glenn Adams [] 
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 9:06 AM
Subject: Re: Merge Request - Temp_ComplexScripts into Trunk

On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 8:26 PM, Georg Datterl <>

        Hello Glenn,

        > (2) there is no standard for symbol length documented in FOP
        > or enforced by checkstyle; I decline to exchange my choice of
        > with longer symbols simply because you prefer it that way; I
        > offered to add comments to my uses, and that is the most I'm
        > to do to address this matter;
        You probably spent more years programming than I am alive, so
please excuse me if that's a stupid question: What is the
reasoning/advantage behind those short variable names?

First, I don't use short names everywhere. Mostly I just use in local
variables, but generally not as class variables.

Second, I was trained in Physics and Mathematics, which uses short
variable names (E = M C ^ 2).

Third, I started programming in the 1960s with BAL 360, APL, then
FORTRAN IV. We use short names there.

Fourth, I happen to have a good memory and I have no trouble remembering
the meaning of variable names.

Fifth, I find that short names prevents making lines too long and gives
me more room for comments.

Sixth, I am going to be maintaining this code. If anyone has a problem
with specific code during a merge or regression, they merely need ask

Seventh, that's just my style, and I assert it is as valid as doing it
with long names.

Eighth, asking me to adhere to an undocumented convention that is not
otherwise enforced, and for which there is no evidence or analysis of
having been previously followed in FOP contributions is unwarranted.

Ninth, spending time changing variable names is a waste of time when I
could be working on adding support for other scripts.

I can probably throw in a few more random reasons, but this should be

I've offered to add comments, take it or leave it.

Reply via email to