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- No literal tabs. Expand tabs to 4 spaces.
- Indentation is 4 spaces.
- No more than 3 levels of indentation.
- Make sure that your editor does not leave space at the end of the line.
- snake_case for variable, function and file names.
- Use your own judgement when naming variables and be as Spartan as possible.
Eg: Using variable name like this_variable_is_a_temporary_counter will
usually be frowned upon.
- Don't use int, char, short, long. Instead use int8_t uint8_t, int16_t,
uint16_t, int32_t, uint32_t, int64_t, uint64_t. You have to include
- Use bool for Boolean. You have to include <stdbool.h>
- Always use size_t type when dealing with sizes of objects or memory ranges.
- 80 column line limit.
- If you have to wrap a long statement (> 80 column), put the operator at the
end of the line and use 4 spaces to indent the next line. Eg:
while (cnt < 20 && this_variable_name_is_too_long &&
ep != NULL) {
z = a + really + long + statement + that + needs
two + lines + gets + indented + four + spaces
on + the + second + and + subsequent + lines;
int a = function(param_a, param_b, param_c, param_d, param_e,
param_f, param_g, param_h, param_i,
param_j, param_k, param_l);
- Always use braces for all conditional blocks (if, switch, for, while, do).
This holds good even for single statement conditional blocks. Eg:
if (cond) {
- Placement of braces for non-function statement blocks - put opening brace
last on the line and closing brace first. Eg:
if (x is true) {
we do y
- Placement of brace for functions - put the opening brace at the beginning
of the next line and closing brace first. Eg:
function(int x)
body of the function
- Closing brace is empty on a line of its own, except in the cases where it is
followed by a continuation of the same statement, i.e. a "while" in a
do-statement or an "else" in an if-statement, like this:
do {
body of do-loop
} while (condition);
if (x == y) {
} else if (x > y) {
} else {
- column align switch keyword and the corresponding case/default keyword. Eg:
switch (alphabet) {
case 'a':
case 'b':
printf("I am a or b\n");
- Forever loops are done with for, and not while. Eg:
for (;;) {
- Don't use a space after a function name.
- Use space after keywords. Exceptions are sizeof, typeof, alignof and
__attribute__, which look like functions.
- Do not add spaces around (inside) parenthesized expressions.
s = sizeof( sizeof(*p)) ); /* Bad eg */
s = sizeof(sizeof(*p)); /* Good eg */
- When declaring pointer data, use '*' adjacent to the data name and not
adjacent to the type name. Eg:
function(int *p)
char *p;
body of the function
- Use one space around (on each side of) most binary and ternary operators,
such as any of these:
= + - < > * / % | & ^ <= >= == != ? :
but no space after unary operators:
& * + - ~ ! sizeof typeof alignof __attribute__ defined
no space before the postfix increment & decrement unary operators:
++ --
and no space around the '.' and "->" structure member operators.
- Casts should not be followed by space. Eg:
int q = *(int *)&p
- Don't ever use typedef for structure types. Typedefs are problematic
because they do not properly hide their underlying type; for example you
need to know if the typedef is the structure itself or a pointer to the
structure. In addition they must be declared exactly once, whereas an
incomplete structure type can be mentioned as many times as necessary.
Typedefs are difficult to use in stand-alone header files: the header
that defines the typedef must be included before the header that uses it,
or by the header that uses it (which causes namespace pollution), or
there must be a back-door mechanism for obtaining the typedef.
- The only exception for using a typedef is when defining a type for a
function pointer.
- Function local to a file should be static.
- Function type should be on a line by itself preceding the function. Eg:
static char *
function(int a1, int a2, float fl, int a4)
- Seperate two successive functions with one blank line.
- Include parameter names with their datypes in function declaration. Eg:
void function(int param);
- When using wrapper function, it is preferred that you name the wrapped
function with the same name as wrapper function and prepend an '_' to
the wrapped function name. Wrapped functions are usually static. Eg:
static int
_fib(int n)
fib(int n)
- Functions should be short and sweet, and do just one thing. They should
fit on one or two screenfuls of text (80x24 screen size), and do one
thing and do that well.
The maximum length of a function is inversely proportional to the
complexity and indentation level of that function. So, if you have a
conceptually simple function that is just one long (but simple)
case-statement, where you have to do lots of small things for a lot of
different cases, it's OK to have a longer function.
Another measure of the function is the number of local variables. They
shouldn't exceed 5-10, or you're doing something wrong. Re-think the
function, and split it into smaller pieces. A human brain can
generally easily keep track of about 7 different things, anything more
and it gets confused. You know you're brilliant, but maybe you'd like
to understand what you did 2 weeks from now.
- Never use goto statements.
- Don't use // for single line comments. Instead use /* ... */ style
- For multi-line comments use the following style
* This is the preferred style for multi-line
* comments in the Linux kernel source code.
* Please use it consistently.
* Description: A column of asterisks on the left side,
* with beginning and ending almost-blank lines.
- To comment out block of code spanning several lines use "#ifdef 0 ... #endif"
- All major functions should have comments describing what they do at the
head of the function. Avoid putting comments in the function body unless
absolutely needed. Eg:
* Try to acquire a physical address lock while a pmap is locked. If we
* fail to trylock we unlock and lock the pmap directly and cache the
* locked pa in *locked. The caller should then restart their loop in case
* the virtual to physical mapping has changed.
vm_page_pa_tryrelock(pmap_t pmap, vm_paddr_t pa, vm_paddr_t *locked)
- Use just one data declaration per line (no commas for multiple data
declarations). This leaves you room for a small comment on each
item, explaining its use.
- Macro name is always in UPPERCASE.
- Use enums when defining more than one related constants. All enumeration
values are in UPPERCASE.
- Avoid macros as much as possible and use inline functions whereever you can.
- For macros encapsulating compound statements, right justify the backslashes
and enclose it in do { ... } while (0)
- For parameterized macros, all the parameters used in the macro body must
be surrounded by parentheses. Eg:
#define ADD_1(x) ((x) + 1)
- sizeof a struct. Eg
char *p;
p = malloc(sizeof(*p)) /* Good example */
p = malloc(sizeof(char) /* Bad example */
- When declaring variables in structures, each of the variables should
gets its own line. Try to make the structure readable by aligning the
member names using either tabs or spaces depending upon your judgment.
You should use only one space or tab if it suffices to align at least 90%
of the member names. Names following extremely long types should be
separated by a single space.
struct foo {
struct foo *next; /* List of active foo. */
struct mumble amumble; /* Comment for mumble. */
int bar; /* Try to align the comments. */
struct verylongtypename *baz; /* Won't fit in 2 tabs. */
struct foo *foohead; /* Head of global foo list. *
- Major structures should be declared at the top of the file in which they
are used, or in separate header files if they are used in multiple source
files. Use of the structures should be by separate declarations and
should be extern if they are declared in a header file.
- Use NULL as the null pointer constant (instead of 0)
- Test pointers against NULL, e.g., use:
(p = f()) == NULL
!(p = f())
- Do not use ! for tests unless it is a boolean, e.g. use:
if (*p == '\0')
if (!*p)
- Always use const for function parameters if the pointer has no side effect.