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    Naming conventions : New or Old

    filemakeris.us

      Hello World!

      I'm about to start a new solution. My dilemma is; shall I use FMI's old but "official" naming conventions (http://www.filemaker.com/br/downloads/FMDev_ConvNov05.pdf) or the new ones from http://filemakerstandards.org/

       

      What's do you think?

       

      DD

        • 1. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
          Mike_Mitchell

          Which one do you like? Which one feels natural? Which one will you stick to?

           

          Use that one.

          • 2. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
            mark_scott

            Hi DD,

             

            Different conventions come from different philosophical foundations, based on what you wish to achieve with a naming convention. Echoing Mike's comment, your underlying assumptions will probably help you decide that one or the other feels more natural to you. I discovered the fmstds group several years ago; I took to it immediately because it was very close to what I was already doing. Their approach aims to provide a high level of code readability (by others who may follow, as well as by you, when you go back to something you haven't worked on for 6 months . . . or 6 years!).  Readability trumps brevity, in this convention.  Also, the fmstds conventions remain under active development (in spurts, mind you) and are thus accommodating of changes to the FileMaker platform itself.  An example of this is that there is current activity around naming of custom styles, which didn't even exist in the product before FileMaker 13.

             

            Best of luck making a decision.

             

            Mark

            • 3. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
              Malcolm

              New, old or make your own. The goal is to use a sensible naming method consistently throughout the system. The keyword is “consistently”. Whichever method you choose, use it everywhere. Don’t get halfway and start using a different method.

               

              Malcolm

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                filemakeris.us

                Thanks for all your feedback. As I work on a Government-related association I think I'll go with FMI standards because they are "hard copy"

                 

                I'll believe I'll find some caveats when working on variables. Maybe I'll have to treat then as fields, with the $ or $$ ahead ...

                 

                Thanks!

                DD

                • 5. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                  jormond

                  One consideration if you use the filemakerstandards.org conventions, if you are going to be doing anything with ESS or SQL you may want to tweak the convention a little bit to be more SQL-friendly. Specifically with the use of special characters in field names.  I use a slightly modified version of that standard...and adjusting it as I run into things I find hard to remember to do. LOL

                  • 6. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                    beverly

                    This was mentioned on the other list (where this same question was x-posted).  Good you brought here, tho, Josh!! some of the conventions can also break on web.

                     

                    Beverly

                    • 7. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                      jbante

                      Even at the time FileMaker published that white paper, the content of it is less of an official convention than some guidelines for a few factors to consider when coming up with your own conventions and a few ideas that were floating around at the time. The white paper also isn't really specific enough to be called a single convention; it actually presents multiple variations to choose from, which still leaves you with some work to do to decide what you'll go with.

                       

                      I disagree that consistency is the goal of a convention. Consistency is only a means to an end, and sometimes a red herring. Consistency supports two much more important goals:

                       

                      1. Make it easy for other developers — especially developers who don't know your conventions and cannot communicate with you — to navigate your code.
                      2. Save yourself some development effort in organizing your code and naming your elements by adopting conventions as a set of habitual solutions to those problems.

                       

                      Inconsistency can hurt both of these goals, but consistency that doesn't support one of these is not necessary worth worrying about. Throw away consistent code that makes it hard for other developers to navigate, and there isn't necessarily any value futzing with inconsistent code that somehow manages to be easy to follow.

                       

                      The conventions at ModularFileMaker.org, and the related Google Group discussions, are worth looking at for more inspiration, though perhaps not a comprehensive set of conventions to adopt. The design goals there are specifically interested in figuring out the most permissive coding conventions possible that still enable good interoperability between encapsulated modules.

                      • 8. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                        jbante

                        All of the FileMakerStandards.org conventions that are likely to create problems on the web and with SQL do make allowances for those platforms and propose alternatives to unusual characters. Most solutions I've seen using the FileMakerStandards.org conventions use the more broadly compatible alternatives.

                        • 9. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                          filemakeris.us

                          Thanks a lot for your comments. I'm thinking if maybe I do field and field naming using the fmi convention and everything else with the filemakerstandars ...

                           

                          Sent from my iPhone

                          • 10. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                            Malcolm

                            consistency is the goal of a convention……..

                             

                            Has anyone said that? I said that a method should be used consistently, just that. It should be used consistently.

                             

                            (Reading the old FMI white paper you might think that the secret goal of the convention was to drive people mad)

                             

                            malcolm

                            • 11. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                              filemakeris.us

                              Xrft . I think Jerry Robin once was able to create a field where the prefix was _fuck

                               

                              Sent from my iPhone

                              • 12. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                                jbante

                                 

                                consistency is the goal of a convention……..

                                 

                                Has anyone said that? I said that a method should be used consistently, just that. It should be used consistently.

                                "The goal is to use a sensible naming method consistently throughout the system." (Emphasis added) Does "Consistency is the goal" not mean the same thing as "The goal is to use a naming method consistently"? Consistency can be valuable, but it is consistently given more emphasis than it deserves in conversations about conventions. It's like telling folks that driving within lanes is important without telling them that the lanes are there to help you avoid collisions with cars and other objects — it's more important to avoid collisions than to stay inside a lane, and ease of code reading and navigation is more important than consistency. One is an important means to the ends of the other, but not nearly enough to stand alone.

                                • 13. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                                  jormond

                                  Thanks for the clarification on that Jeremy. I don't mind the special characters on the layout names at all. It's really only in the table, field, and TO naming that I even run into issues. I use many of the standards...and I just about to start a new project that be my first new project where I can start with them. LOL

                                  jbante wrote:

                                   

                                  All of the FileMakerStandards.org conventions that are likely to create problems on the web and with SQL do make allowances for those platforms and propose alternatives to unusual characters. Most solutions I've seen using the FileMakerStandards.org conventions use the more broadly compatible alternatives.

                                  • 14. Re: Naming conventions : New or Old
                                    beverly

                                    Why waste time with "unusual characters" from the get-go? At some point if a solution must be able to communicate with ODBC or web, these names will break (I'm not going to even say "may break"). Don't think that it might not ever happen. Too many want database-on-the-web now-a-days. Keep that in mind when using any standards "new or old"!

                                     

                                    Beverly

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