Jul 29, 2011

Consistent Naming Avoids Confusion

It is said that naming is one of the few hard things in programming.

It’s not really that hard, but it is VERY important.

As a general rule – the name should reflect a noun or verb in the real world, and should be used consistently, everywhere.

If you ever here someone say “it doesn’t matter what we call it now, we can always change it in the UI later” that should be a BIG red flag.

If you don’t understand something well enough to be able to refer to it by a single word – then you don’t understand it enough to implement it.


On a related note, it really bothers me that Mac and iOS app naming is inconsistent. Eg iCal vs Calendar, or Address Book vs Contacts. Pick a name and stick with it please.