Style Guide

Style guide {#style-guide}

Here are the coding rules and principles used throughout the course:

This chapter is by nature subjective and opinionated. Feel free to make your own choices.


Naming things right goes a long way into making code cleaner and easier to understand. Some general naming rules are presented below.

1. Choose meaningful names

The most important rule is to give each element (variable, function, class, etc) a specific name that reflects its role. A variable holding the value of a circle radius should be named radius rather than num or myVal. Brevity should be limited to short-lived elements, like loop counters.

2. Don’t use reserved words

Each JavaScript keyword is a reserved name. They should not be used as variable names. Here’s the list of reserved words in JavaScript.

3. Follow a naming convention

It can take several words to describe precisely the role of certain elements. This course adopts the popular camelCase naming convention, based on two main principles:

  • All names begin with a lowercase letter.
  • If a name consists of several words, the first letter of each word (except the first word) is uppercase.

In addition, this course uses the following naming rules:

  • Functions and method names include an action verb: computeTotal(), findFirstParent(), attackTarget(), etc.
  • To be consistent with other programming languages, class names start with an uppercase letter: User instead of user.
  • Since they may contain multiple elements, arrays are named plurally or suffixed with List: movies or movieList, but not movie.
  • To distinguish them from other variables, DOM elements are suffixed with Element (or Elements for array-like variables): divElement rather than simply div.

Like many other languages, JavaScript is case-sensitive. For example, myVariable and myvariable are two different variable names. Be careful!

Code formatting

This is a subject of many debates in the JavaScript community: using spaces or tabulations for indenting, omitting semicolons, simple vs double-quotes for strings, and so on.

A simple and efficient solution is to rely on a tool to automate the low-level task of formatting code so that you can concentrate on more high-level work.

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