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Wavelength | Your Game Editing Resource | Hungarian Notation
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Hungarian Notation [Print this Article]
Posted by: rkzad
Date posted: Jun 09 2003
User Rating: 5 out of 5.0
Number of views: 7660
Number of comments: 1
Description: And why you should use it
This tutorial is inspired by MutantSquirrel and is about Hungarian notation.

Hungarian notation is a variable-naming convention. Using Hungarian notation, a programmer could take a look at a piece of your code using a variable named "szHawaii" and immediately recognize it as a string without searching all over the place for the definition of the variable. This is very helpful especially when more than one programmer has to deal with the same code. Even if you're the only one working on it, it will require less thinking on your part when you're dealing with your own code. The general principle is you add a short prefix in lower-case infront of your variable name to help show what data type the variable is.

Here is a list of the Hungarian notation conventions as given by Microsoft (Hungarian notation was apocryphally named in honour of Microsoft programmer, Charles Simonyi):
Prefix   DataType
b        Boolean
by       byte or unsigned char
c        Char
cx / cy  short used as size
dw       DWORD, double word or unsigned long
fn       Function
h        Handle
i        int (integer)
l        Long
n        short int
p        a pointer variable containing the address of a variable
s        string
sz       ASCIIZ null-terminated string
w        WORD unsigned int
x, y     short used as coordinates

Also when you're declaring variables, you will want to keep the scope in mind (local, member, global) and whether it is static or not. To name your variables for this, right the given prefix needed, followed by an underscore, followed by one of the prefixes above depending on the data type (ex m_iNumber).
m_       member variable
g_       global variable
s_       static variable
local variables don't need an extra prefix
You can also combine static and member/global variables by butting the letters together, i.e. ms_iNumber.

A couple other conventions come up when declaring classes:
C        regular class (ex CBob)
I        interface (ex IDirect3D9 - a class with no member variables and no implementation)

Conventions will range from programmer to programmer and from code to code, but all are generally similar. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but you should just make sure that your code is easily analyzable. This is a really good thing to practice, and it will see how it can end up being helpful, especially when coming back to code you haven't touched in a while, and when your code is getting rather large.

Variable Names and Hungarian Notation

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User Comments Showing comments 1-1

Posted By: [ICR] on May 15 2005 at 17:18:47
What if you want to change what type a variable is? You would have to find every single referance in the code and change it. Some more recent IDE's (well, I have noticed the more recent Borland Delphi ones) allow you to change variable names all at once, which would solve it I suppose.

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