doc/codingstd.txt
author Mathieu Lacage <mathieu.lacage@sophia.inria.fr>
Thu, 17 Apr 2008 15:40:25 -0700
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       The Ns-3 Coding Style
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/*
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 * Note:  This file is incomplete and will be converted to non-text (html,pdf)
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 * formats at a future date
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 */
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1) Code layout
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     -----------
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The code layout follows the GNU coding standard layout for C and extends
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it to C++. Do not use tabs for indentation. Indentation spacing is 2
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spaces as outlined below:
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void 
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Foo (void)
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{
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  if (test)
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    {
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      // do stuff here
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    }
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  else
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    {
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      // do other stuff here
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    }
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  for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++)
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    {
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      // do loop
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    }
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  while (test)
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    {
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      // do while
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    }
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  do
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    {
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      // do stuff
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    } while ();
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}
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The following is not recommended:
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if (test) statement
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if (test)
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  statement
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for (...) statement
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Each statement should be put on a separate line to increase readability.
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Short one-line comments can use the C++ comment style, that is, '//'
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but longer comments should use C-style comments:
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/*
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 *
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 *
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 */
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2) Naming Patterns
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   ---------------
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2.1) Name encoding
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     -------------
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Function, Method, and Type names should follow the CamelCase convention:
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words are joined without spaces and are capitalized. For example,
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"my computer" is transformed into MyComputer. Do not use all capital 
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letters such as MAC or, PHY, but choose instead Mac or Phy. Do not use
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all capital letters, even for acronyms such as EDCA: use Edca instead.
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The goal of the CamelCase convention is to ensure that the words which
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make up a name can be separated by the eye: the initial Caps fills
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that role.
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Variable names should follow a slight variation on the base CamelCase
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convention: camelBack. For example, the variable "user name" would be
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named "userName". This variation on the basic naming pattern is used to
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allow a reader to distinguish a variable name from its type. For example,
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"UserName userName;" would be used to declare a variable named userName
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of type UserName.
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Global variables should be prefixed with a "g_" and member variables
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(including static member variables) should be prefixed with a "m_". The
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goal of that prefix is to give a reader a sense of where a variable of
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a given name is declared to allow the reader to locate the variable 
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declaration and infer the variable type from that declaration. For example
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you could declare in your class header my-class.h:
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class MyClass
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{
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  void MyMethod (int aVar);
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  int m_aVar;
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  static int m_anotherVar;
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};
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and implement in your class file my-class.cc:
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int MyClass::m_anotherVar = 10;
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static int g_aStaticVar = 100;
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int g_aGlobalVar = 1000;
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void
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MyClass::MyMethod (int aVar)
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{
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  m_aVar = aVar;
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}
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2.2) Choosing names
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Variable, function, method, and type names should be based on the
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english language. Furthermore, always try to choose descriptive
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names for them. Types are often english names such as: Packet, 
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Buffer, Mac, or Phy. Functions and Methods are often named
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based on verbs and adjectives: GetX, DoDispose, ClearArray, etc.
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A long descriptive name which requires a lot of typing is always
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better than a short name which is hard to decipher. Do not use
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abbreviations in names unless the abbreviation is really unambiguous
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and obvious to everyone. Do not use short inapropriate names such
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as foo, bar, or baz. The name of an item should always match its 
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purpose. As such, names such as tmp to identify a temporary
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variable or such as 'i' to identify a loop index are ok.
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3) File layout and code organization
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   ---------------------------------
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A class named MyClass should be declared in a header named my-class.h
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and implemented in a source file named my-class.cc. The goal of this
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naming pattern is to allow a reader to quickly navigate through
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the ns-3 codebase to locate the source file relevant to a specific
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type.
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Each my-class.h header should start with the following comments: the
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first line ensures that developers who use the emacs editor will be 
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able to indent your code correctly. The following lines ensure that
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your code is licensed under the GPL, that the copyright holders
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are properly identified (typically, you or your employer), and
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that the actual author of the code is identified. The latter is
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purely informational and we use it to try to track the most
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appropriate person to review a patch or fix a bug.
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/* -*- Mode:C++; c-file-style:"gnu"; indent-tabs-mode:nil; -*- */
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/*
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 * Copyright (c) YEAR COPYRIGHTHOLDER
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 * 
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 * 3-paragran GPL blurb
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 *
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 * Author: MyName <myemail@foo.com>
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 */
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Below these C-style comments, always include the following which
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defines a set of header guards (MY_CLASS_H) used to avoid multiple
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header includes, which ensures that your code is included
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in the "ns3" namespace and which provides a set of doxygen comments
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for the public part of your class API. Detailed information
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on the set of tags available for doxygen documentation is described
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in the doxygen website: http://www.doxygen.org.
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#ifndef MY_CLASS_H
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#define MY_CLASS_H
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namespace n3 {
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/**
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 * \brief short one-line description of the purpose of your class
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 *
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 * A longer description of the purpose of your class after a blank
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 * empty line.
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 */
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class MyClass
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{
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public:
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 MyClass ();
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 /**
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  * \param firstParam a short description of the purpose of this parameter
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  * \returns a short description of what is returned from this function.
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  *
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  * A detailed description of the purpose of the method.
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  */
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 int DoFoo (int firstParam);
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private:
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 void MyPrivateMethod (void);
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 int m_myPrivateMemberVariable;
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};
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} // namespace ns3
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#endif /* MY_CLASS_H */
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The my-class.cc file is structured similarly:
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/* -*- Mode:C++; c-file-style:"gnu"; indent-tabs-mode:nil; -*- */
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/*
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 * Copyright (c) YEAR COPYRIGHTHOLDER
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 * 
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 * 3-paragran GPL blurb
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 *
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 * Author: MyName <myemail@foo.com>
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 */
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#include "my-class.h"
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namespace ns3 {
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MyClass::MyClass ()
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{}
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...
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} // namespace ns3
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