What Are Coding Conventions?
Coding conventions are suggestions that may help you write code using Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition. Coding
conventions can include the following:
The main reason for using a consistent set of coding conventions is to standardize the structure and coding style of a script or set of scripts
so that you and others can easily read and understand the code. Using good coding conventions results in precise, readable, and unambiguous source code that is consistent with other language conventions and as intuitive as possible.
- Naming conventions for objects, variables, and procedures
- Commenting conventions
- Text formatting and indenting guidelines
Constant Naming Conventions
Earlier versions of VBScript had no mechanism for creating user-defined constants. Constants, if used, were implemented as variables and distinguished from other variables using all uppercase characters. Multiple words were separated using the underscore (_) character. For example:
While this is still an acceptable way to indentify your constants, you may want to use an alternative naming scheme, now that you can create true constants using the Const statement. This convention uses a mixed-case format in which constant names have a "con" prefix. For example:
Variable Naming Conventions
For purposes of readability and consistency, use the following prefixes with descriptive names for variables in your VBScript code.
Variables should always be defined with the smallest scope possible. VBScript variables can have the following scope.
||Where Variable Is Declared
||Event, Function, or Sub procedure
||Visible in the procedure in which it is declared|
||HEAD section of an HTML page, outside any procedure
||Visible in every procedure in the script|
Variable Scope Prefixes
As script size grows, so does the value of being able to quickly differentiate the scope of variables. A one-letter scope prefix preceding the
type prefix provides this, without unduly increasing the size of variable names.
Descriptive Variable and Procedure Names
The body of a variable or procedure name should use mixed case and should be as complete as necessary to describe its purpose.
In addition, procedure names should begin with a verb, such as InitNameArray or CloseDialog.
For frequently used or long terms, standard abbreviations are recommended to help keep name length reasonable.
In general, variable names greater than 32 characters can be difficult to read. When using abbreviations, make sure they are consistent throughout the entire script. For example, randomly switching between Cnt and Count within a script or set of scripts may lead to confusion.
Object Naming Conventions
The following table lists recommended conventions for objects you may encounter while programming VBScript.
|Combo box, drop-down list box
|Horizontal scroll bar
|Vertical scroll bar
Code Commenting Conventions
All procedures should begin with a brief comment describing what they do. This description should not describe the implementation details (how it does it) because these often change over time, resulting in unnecessary comment maintenance work, or worse, erroneous comments. The code itself and any necessary inline comments describe the implementation.
Arguments passed to a procedure should be described when their purpose is not obvious and when the procedure expects the arguments
to be in a specific range. Return values for functions and variables that are changed by a procedure, especially through reference
arguments, should also be described at the beginning of each procedure.
Procedure header comments should include the following section headings. For examples, see the "Formatting Your Code" section that follows.
Remember the following points:
||What the procedure does (not how).
||List of any external variable, control, or other element whose state affects this procedure.
||List of the procedure's effect on each external variable, control, or other element.
||Explanation of each argument that isn't obvious. Each argument should be on a separate line with inline comments.
||Explanation of the value returned.
- Every important variable declaration should include an inline comment describing the use of the variable being declared.
- Variables, controls, and procedures should be named clearly enough that inline comments are only needed for complex implementation details.
- At the beginning of your script, you should include an overview that describes the script, enumerating objects, procedures, algorithms, dialog boxes, and other system dependencies. Sometimes a piece of pseudocode describing the algorithm can be helpful.
Formatting Your Code
Screen space should be conserved as much as possible, while still allowing
code formatting to reflect logic structure and nesting. Here are a few pointers:
- Standard nested blocks should be indented four spaces.
- The overview comments of a procedure should be indented one space.
- The highest level statements that follow the overview comments should be indented four spaces, with each nested block indented an additional four spaces. For example:
' Purpose: Locates the first occurrence of a specified user
' in the UserList array.
' Inputs: strUserList(): the list of users to be searched.
' strTargetUser: the name of the user to search for.
' Returns: The index of the first occurrence of the strTargetUser
' in the strUserList array.
' If the target user is not found, return -1.
Function intFindUser (strUserList(), strTargetUser)
Dim i ' Loop counter.
Dim blnFound ' Target found flag
intFindUser = -1
i = 0 ' Initialize loop counter
Do While i <= Ubound(strUserList) and Not blnFound
If strUserList(i) = strTargetUser Then
blnFound = True ' Set flag to True
intFindUser = i ' Set return value to loop count
i = i + 1 ' Increment loop counter