Variable or scalar is a storage location paired with an associated symbolic name (an identifier), which contains some known or unknown quantity or information referred to as a value.

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1
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4answers
266 views

Is there a concept of a variable with phases of initialization: uninitialized, initializing, immutable?

I was looking at this thread on Stack Overflow and thinking about the functional programming I've been learning, and how immutability is so key there, and it occured to me that maybe some language has ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

What is the reason for using lowercase for the first word in a local variable (eg, employeeCount, firstName)

I take a good deal of criticism from other programmers due to my use of full proper casing for all my variables. For example, your typical programmer will use employeeCount for a variable name, but I ...
15
votes
1answer
824 views

Dollar Sign Blues: Javascript and PHP

I grew up programming C++ and Java where everything was safe and beautiful. Compilers made sure to keep me in check if I ever strayed. Of course, everyone did a little Perl in college, but I didn't ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

What are the pros and cons of temporary variables vs multiple returns [duplicate]

Take the following examples: public static String returnOnce() { String resultString = null; if (someCondition) { resultString = "condition is true"; } else { resultString ...
1
vote
4answers
608 views

“Is” prefix and “On” suffix as reasonable exceptions to a “non-hungarian” naming standard?

First, I believe I've seen this question discussed here before, but I cannot find it. My apologies if you do find it. I'm starting a new project, and trying to figure out why IsResolved and/or ...
8
votes
3answers
246 views

Is a single object to be preferred over multiple variables?

It was quite hard to put what I meant into a title, but it's easy to put into code. C++ Is this int offset_x = 10; int offset_y = 40; ... element.move(offset_x, offset_y); To be preferred over ...
1
vote
5answers
409 views

Why do some programmers keep values in global variables or member variables but not reused?

I am talking about normal PC applications, memory should be sufficient. They declare global or member variables. In each function/method, they use the same global/member variables. At the beginning ...
13
votes
10answers
3k views

How to write useful Java programs without using mutable variables

I was reading an article about functional programming where the writer states (take 25 (squares-of (integers))) Notice that it has no variables. Indeed, it has nothing more than three ...
70
votes
6answers
8k views

Should the variable be named Id or ID? [closed]

This is a bit pedantic, but I've seen some people use Id as in: private int userId; public int getUserId(); and others use: private int userID; public int getUserID(); Is one of these a better ...
7
votes
5answers
276 views

Programming principles with regard to software (computational) efficiency and the use of variables

I'm classically trained psychologist, not a programmer, so sometimes the more advanced aspects of programming escape me, in particular regarding program efficiency and/or certain best practices, in ...
42
votes
7answers
3k views

How to name a variable when the word is both a noun and a verb

I have run into a corner-case problem with the general guidance of: nouns for variables verbs for functions Specifically, I have a case where the word is ambiguous - it can be either a verb or a ...
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Temporary variables vs line length requirements

I've been reading Martin Fowler's Refactoring. It is generally excellent but one of Fowler's recommendations seems to be causing a little trouble. Fowler recommends that you replace temporary ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Stack and heap - dynamic allocation question

Sources usually mention that dynamically created variables are allocated on the heap, while functions' variables on the stack. Also the ones on the stack cease to exist automatically when e.g. the ...
5
votes
1answer
474 views

Do there exist programming languages where a variable can truly know its own name?

In PHP and Python one can iterate over the local variables and, if there is only once choice where the value matches, you could say that you know what the variable's name is, but this does not always ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Effective handling of variables in non-object oriented programming

What is the best method to use and share variables between functions in non object-oriented program languages? Let's say that I use 10 parameters from DB, ID and 9 other values linked to it. I need ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Does it make a difference if I declare variables inside or outside a loop in Java? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do you declare variables? The top of a method or when you need them? Does it make a difference if I declare variables inside or outside a loop in Java? Is this ...
-3
votes
3answers
305 views

In what practical ways is it good to remember the memory/pointers model? [closed]

A variable refers to a value. A variable is also stored in a memory address. People say that it's good to have this memory model in mind. Is that true? What is some sample code that shows this as ...
6
votes
4answers
761 views

Method flags as arguments or as member variables?

I think the title "Method flags as arguments or as member variables?" may be suboptimal, but as I'm missing any better terminology atm., here goes: I'm currently trying to get my head around the ...
114
votes
11answers
39k views

Why is Clean Code suggesting avoiding protected variables?

Clean Code suggests avoiding protected variables in the "Vertical Distance" section of the "Formatting" chapter: Concepts that are closely related should be kept vertically close to each other. ...
4
votes
6answers
362 views

Order of subject and modifiers in variable names

I'm looking for experiences regarding the ordering of the subject and modifiers in variable names. A simple object Shape would have just a subject for the variable name, such as Area. A slightly ...
20
votes
2answers
13k views

What does the term “Payload” mean in programming

I was going through the source code of an open source framework, where I saw a variable "payload" mentioned many times. Any ideas what "payload" stands for?
9
votes
2answers
379 views

What is a user-friendly solution to editing email templates with replacement variables?

I'm working on a system where we rely a lot of "admins / managers" emailing users from the database. One of the key features is being able to email several people at the same time, with specific ...
0
votes
1answer
226 views

Tool to visualize values from variables during the execution of a program in C

I just need to see what is stored, in realtime, in some particular variables and struct used by an application written in C. I need something like the stack tracer that comes with the ADT plugins for ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Variable names for Contact Information bits [closed]

I am in the middle of refactoring code and would like to get some ideas on variable naming so that my new names clearly represent the data they hold. I have a class called ContactMethod which makes ...
11
votes
7answers
399 views

Generalise variable usage inside code

I would like to know if it is a good practice to generalize variables (use single variable to store all the values). Consider simple example Strings querycre,queryins,queryup,querydel; querycre ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Ongoing confusion about ivars and properties in objective C

After almost 8 months being in ios programming, I am again confused about the right approach. Maybe it is not the language but some OOP principle I am confused about. I don't know.. I was trying C# a ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Initialized variables vs named constants

I'm working on a fundamental programming class in college and our textbook is "programming logic and design" by joyce farrell(spelling?) Anyhow, I'm struggling conceptually when it comes to ...
7
votes
4answers
891 views

Definition of “state”

What is a good way to define "state", as in state variable or state machine, to a new (previously non) programmer? What are some good ways to explain why this concept is useful for writing software? ...
2
votes
7answers
538 views

Should I refactor single letter variables for constructs like pointer/structure names?

And No, i am not referring to single variables in loops or exceptions. Lets say pointer/struct names in large c ,c++ programs . Are there any languages where this type of naming is acceptable or is ...
3
votes
2answers
307 views

Better use on the name of variables

I have a method that looks like this: Public Function NormalizeStreetAddress(country As Namespace.Country, streetAddress As Namespace.StreetAddress) _ ...
4
votes
5answers
531 views

variable comparison without initialising

I am working with a project in VC++ which involves co-ordinate system having x,y,z axis. I am trying to check for if a variable(Point with x,y,z values) is assigned on the coordinate system or its a ...
36
votes
15answers
5k views

Is it bad practice to name an unused variable with a single underscore?

Often when the syntax of the language requires me to name a variable that is never used, I'll name it _. In my mind, this reduces clutter and lets me focus on the meaningful variables in the code. I ...
4
votes
3answers
140 views

Using “prevent execution of method” flags

First of all I want to point out my concern with some pseudocode (I think you'll understand better) Assume you have a global debug flag, or class variable named "debug", class a : var debug = ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

What is meant by Scope of a variable?

I think of the scope of a variable as - "The scope of a particular variable is the range within a program's source code in which that variable is recognized by the compiler". That statement is ...
3
votes
1answer
491 views

Giving variables default values vs. treating accessing an undefined variable as an error

Having messed around with several scripting languages and being a bit of a linguist, there seems to be a way to divide dynamically typed languages into two groups: languages that give variables a ...
4
votes
2answers
267 views

How to deal with variables when extracting methods in to smaller methods?

This is an abstract question to clarify a refactoring concept in the ruby language. Assume in the real world that there would be many more variables and method in the Furniture Class and Refinish ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

Why do variables need a type?

So we write: Customer c = new Customer(); Why is the design not such that we write: c = new Customer(); c.CreditLimit = 1000; The compiler can work out c points to a Customer and allow ...
27
votes
17answers
3k views

Is it a good practice to name the returned variable “result”? [closed]

Is it a good practice to call the variable a method returns with a variable name result? For instance: public Zorglub calculate() { Zorglub result = [...] [...] return result; } Or ...
25
votes
9answers
3k views

Why should identifiers not begin with a number?

Most programming languages appear to be designed to not allow one to declare an identifier that starts with a number. I was just curious to know the reason. I have already searched the web, but ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is it discouraged to create variables on the fly? PHP gives you a Notice Error

Are you guys familiar with those pesky PHP notice errors? You know, the ones that will appear when you do something like this: if($some_variable == 45) But if $some_variable wasn't created already, ...
2
votes
2answers
283 views

Semantic or structure - which should get preference for variable naming?

We've a call stack in our project. The program is written for microcontroller, the language is C. The call stack is basically an array of integers. The variable that represents this call stack ends ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Handling extremely large numbers in a language which can't?

I'm trying to think about how I would go about doing calculations on extremely large numbers (to infinitum - intergers no floats) if the language construct is incapable of handling numbers larger than ...
5
votes
8answers
506 views

One-use variables - has any language ever had them?

A principle that I follow is that, when an identifier is established, it should be a signal to the reader that the value referred to is indeed an abstraction which will be used more than once. That ...
8
votes
3answers
12k views

Naming conventions for instance, local and parameter variables [closed]

I was discussing with a senior developper coding conventions to apply to our projects (mainly Java/JEE projects). I disagreed with one convention he proposed: Instance variable names should start ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Any standards for naming variables in for loops (instead of i,j,k) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do most of us use 'i' as a loop counter variable? I was just writing a nested loop and got to the point where I was using l and m as variables to control for ...
8
votes
5answers
294 views

How do you avoid name similarities between your classes and the native ones?

I just ran into an "interesting problem", which I would like your opinion about: I am developing a system and for many reasons (meaning: abstraction, technology independence, etc) we create our own ...
5
votes
5answers
543 views

Is it OK to use dynamic typing to reduce the amount of variables in scope?

Often, when I am initializing something I have to use a temporary variable, for example: file_str = "path/to/file" file_file = open(file) or regexp_parts = ['foo', 'bar'] regexp = new ...
43
votes
10answers
8k views

Should I reuse variables?

Should I reuse variables? I know that many best practice say you should not do it, however later when different developer is debugging the code and have 3 variables that look a like and only ...
1
vote
6answers
3k views

Why declare variables close to where they are used?

I have heard people say that variables should be declared as close to their usage as possible. I don't understand this. For example, this policy would suggest I should do this: foreach (var item in ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Prefer class members or passing arguments between internal methods?

Suppose within the private portion of a class there is a value which is utilized by multiple private methods. Do people prefer having this defined as a member variable for the class or passing it as ...