This has become a large frustration with the codebase I'm currently working in; many of our variable names are short and undescriptive. I'm the only developer left on the project, and there isn't documentation as to what most of them do, so I have to spend extra time tracking down what they represent.
For example, I was reading over some code that updates the definition of an optical surface. The variables set at the start were as follows:
double dR, dCV, dK, dDin, dDout, dRin, dRout dR = Convert.ToDouble(_tblAsphere.Rows.ItemArray.GetValue(1)); dCV = convert.ToDouble(_tblAsphere.Rows.ItemArray.GetValue(1)); ... and so on
Maybe it's just me, but it told me essentially nothing about what they represented, which made understanding the code further down difficult. All I knew was that it was a variable parsed out specific row from a specific table, somewhere. After some searching, I found out what they meant:
dR = radius dCV = curvature dK = conic constant dDin = inner aperture dDout = outer aperture dRin = inner radius dRout = outer radius
I renamed them to essentially what I have up there. It lengthens some lines, but I feel like that's a fair trade off. This kind of naming scheme is used throughout a lot of the code however. I'm not sure if it's an artifact from developers who learned by working with older systems, or if there's a deeper reason behind it. Is there a good reason to name variables this way, or am I justified in updating them to more descriptive names as I come across them?