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Christian Neukirchen February 17, 2013
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= Christian Neukirchen's Ruby Style Guide

You may not like all rules presented here, but they work very well for
me and have helped producing high quality code. Everyone is free to
code however they want, write and follow their own style guides, but
when you contribute to my code, please follow these rules:


== Formatting:

* Use ASCII (or UTF-8, if you have to).

* Use 2 space indent, no tabs.

* Use Unix-style line endings. On the last line of the file, too.

* Use spaces around operators, after commas, colons and semicolons,
  around { and before }.

* No spaces after (, [ and before ], ).

* Use two spaces before statement modifiers (postfix
  if/unless/while/until/rescue).

* Indent when as deep as case.

* Use an empty line before the return value of a method (unless it
  only has one line), and an empty line between defs.

* Use RDoc and its conventions for API documentation. Don't put an
  empty line between the comment block and the def.

* Use empty lines to break up a long method into logical paragraphs.

* Keep lines fewer than 80 characters.

* Avoid trailing whitespace.


== Syntax:

* Use def with parentheses when there are arguments.

* Never use for, unless you exactly know why.

* Never use then.

* Use when x; ... for one-line cases.

* Use &&/|| for boolean expressions, and/or for control flow. (Rule
  of thumb: If you have to use outer parentheses, you are using the
  wrong operators.)

* Avoid multiline ?:, use if.

* Suppress superfluous parentheses when calling methods, but keep them
  when calling "functions", i.e. when you use the return value in the
  same line.

    x = Math.sin(y)
    array.delete e

* Prefer {...} over do...end. Multiline {...} is fine: having
  different statement endings (} for blocks, end for if/while/...)
  makes it easier to see what ends where. But use do...end for
  "control flow" and "method definitions" (e.g. in Rakefiles and
  certain DSLs.) Avoid do...end when chaining.

* Avoid return where not required.

* Avoid line continuation (\) where not required.

* Using the return value of = is okay:

    if v = array.grep(/foo/) ...

* Use ||= freely.

* Use non-OO regexps (they won't make the code better). Freely use
  =~, $0-9, $~, $` and $' when needed.

* Never use smalltalk: symbols.


== Naming:

* Use snake_case for methods.

* Use CamelCase for classes and modules. (Keep acronyms like HTTP,
  RFC, XML uppercase.)

* Use SCREAMING_SNAKE_CASE for other constants.

* The length of an identifier determines its scope. Use one-letter
  variables for short block/method parameters, according to this
  scheme:

    a,b,c: any object
    d: directory names
    e: elements of an Enumerable
    ex: rescued exceptions
    f: files and file names
    i,j: indexes
    k: the key part of a hash entry
    m: methods
    o: any object
    r: return values of short methods
    s: strings
    v: any value
    v: the value part of a hash entry
    x,y,z: numbers

  And in general, the first letter of the class name if all objects
  are of that type.

* Use _ or names prefixed with _ for unused variables.

* When using inject with short blocks, name the arguments |a, e|
  (mnemonic: accumulator, element)

* When defining binary operators, name the argument "other".

* Prefer map over collect, find over detect, find_all over select,
  size over length.


== Comments:

* Comments longer than a word are capitalized and use punctuation.
  Use two spaces after periods.

* Avoid superfluous comments.


== The rest:

* Write ruby -w safe code.

* Avoid hashes-as-optional-parameters. Does the method do too much?

* Avoid long methods.

* Avoid long parameter lists.

* Use def self.method to define singleton methods.

* Add "global" methods to Kernel (if you have to) and make them private.

* Avoid alias when alias_method will do.

* Use OptionParser for parsing complex command line options and
  ruby -s for trivial command line options.

* Target Ruby 1.9.

* Avoid needless metaprogramming.


== General:

* Code in a functional way, avoid mutation when it makes sense.

* Do not mutate arguments unless that is the purpose of the method.

* Do not mess around in core classes when writing libraries.

* Do not program defensively.
  (See http://www.erlang.se/doc/programming_rules.shtml#HDR11.)

* Keep the code simple.

* Don't overdesign.

* Don't underdesign.

* Avoid bugs.

* Read other style guides and apply the parts that don't dissent with
  this list.

* Be consistent.

* Use common sense.
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