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Naming convention for Uniface projects

May 26, 2021

To uniquely identify something, we give it a name. In most cases, it is even mandatory. For example, parents give their child a name and entrepreneurs come up with a name for their company or product. Coming up with an appropriate name is quite a process. Fortunately for most people, this is an incidental task so it is okay if it takes a lot of time. After all, a lot depends on a good name.

Software developers, on the other hand, must come up with names day in and day out. After all, creating is their job. The screens they build, and the callable modules in the code, must be given a name. For software developers, naming is so obvious that they do not give it a second thought. And yet, a good name is very important.

UNique and within context

Within organizations, there are usually naming guidelines and procedures that must be followed to name objects. These are the naming conventions. If these guidelines are present in your organization, you should of course follow them as much as possible. If they are not available, then it is wise to draw them up. But why is it necessary to have a guideline for naming? And what requirements should the names of the various objects meet? Are there specific conditions in Uniface that need to be considered? What is a good name in the first place?

In general, it can be said that anything that must be uniquely identifiable must be given a unique name. This applies to everything from objects (such as components and fields) to variables in the code. This applies to any development environment, including Uniface. Each platform or language has unique rules and naming limits that must be respected. Within these boundaries, anything is possible. The most important thing is that all objects are given a unique name. This name must be unique within a certain context. For example, a component must be unique within an application, while a variable must be unique within a ProcScript module.

However, naming is primarily a matter of personal, organizational, technical, and possibly even cultural factors. Therefore, I want to be careful to provide general guidelines in this article. I have compiled this article based on tips and advice from other Uniface professionals, widely accepted conventions, and my own experience. Let me start by answering the question of why we need a guideline for naming objects.

Why do we need a naming convention?

I am an entrepreneur and a software developer. Sometimes a challenging combination. As an entrepreneur, I want to explore and expand businesses without thinking about all bits and pieces, while my IT part wants to think in bits and bytes. Both have one thing in common: we are not building for today but for tomorrow. To be able to use interchangeable technology, I mean to be able to connect to a dynamic world, we need something stable to form the foundation of this application. This is Uniface. I foresee that we will be using Uniface for a long time.

I know that what I am building today must be built with a future user (developer and/or end-user) in mind. A good naming convention considers the following four goals:

  1. Uniqueness
  2. Efficiency
  3. Readability
  4. Scalability & reusability

If you want to see these goals explained in further detail, read the full article on our Community website.