Camel Case: a writing method used in programming

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Camel Case

In programming, the choice of writing method is crucial for good code organisation and better communication between developers.

Among these methods, the camel case is very popular and widely used in various programming languages.

In this article, we'll explain what a camel case is, where it comes from, its advantages and a few tips on how to use it properly.

Camel Case

Definition and origin of the camel case

The term camel case" literally means "camel case". It is a writing method that consists of representing a string of characters (generally a compound word) without using separators such as spaces or dashes, but by visually separating successive words by alternating lower and upper case letters.

The capital letters in the middle of the word evoke the humps of a camel.

The origins of the camel case go back to the 1970s-1980s, with the development of the first object-oriented programming languages, such as Smalltalk and Pascal.

This particular notation has been adopted to make the source code easier to read and understand, while respecting the specific syntax constraints imposed by these languages.

The different types of camel case

There are two main types of camel case:

  • Lower camel case : The first word in the string is in lower case, and subsequent words begin with a capital letter. Example: "myVariable" or "aCamelCaseExample".
  • Upper camel case : All the words in the string start with a capital letter, including the first. This variant (also known as "Pascal case") is mainly used for class and method names. Example: "MyClass" or "AMethod".

The use of either type of camel case generally depends on the standards established in the programming language concerned.

Advantages of the camel case

Improving readability and comprehension

The main advantage of camel case is that it is easy to read and understand. This notation allows the different elements of a compound word to be separated visually, without the use of spaces or special characters. This makes it easier to distinguish the different parts of a character string and to understand their meaning.

Respect for language syntax constraints

In many programming languages, the use of spaces and special characters in variable and function names is prohibited or not recommended. The camel case is therefore a suitable solution for complying with these constraints while maintaining good code readability. It also simplifies code entry and reduces the risk of errors.

Uniform and standardised names

By adopting the camel case writing method, developers benefit from greater uniformity in the syntax of their code, which makes it much easier to maintenance and the scalability of applications. Indeed, if all the members of a development team use this notation consistently, it is much easier to quickly locate the elements required in the source code.

Best practices for using the camel case

To make the most of the advantages of the camel case, here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Choose terms wisely: Remember to use precise words that clearly describe the object or function concerned. Use short terms and avoid unnecessary abbreviations.
  2. Use the appropriate variant depending on the context: Follow the conventions specific to the programming language you are using, choosing the lower camel case for variables and functions, and the upper camel case for classes and methods.
  3. Be consistent: Keep the same rating for your entire project, to make it easier for you and your peers to read and understand.

In short, the camel case is a simple and effective writing method that makes source code much easier to read and understand. By applying this notation correctly and following good practice, you can significantly improve the organisation of your code.

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