The original of this document was developed by the Microsoft special interest group. We made some addons. This document explains the naming conventions that should be used with .NET projects. A consistent naming pattern is one of the most important elements of predictability and discover ability in a managed class library. Widespread use and understanding of these naming guidelines should eliminate unclear code and make it easier for developers to understand shared code.

Capitalization Styles Defined

We define three types of capitalization styles:

  1. Pascal case : The first letter in the identifier and the first letter of each subsequent concatenated word are capitalized. Example: BackColor, DataSet
  2. Camel case : The first letter of an identifier is lowercase and the first letter of each subsequent concatenated word is capitalized. Example: numberOfDays, isValid
  3. Uppercase : All letters in the identifier are capitalized. Example: ID, PI

Hungarian Type Notation Defined

Hungarian notation is any of a variety of standards for organizing a computer program by selecting a schema for naming your variables so that their type is readily available to someone familiar with the notation. It is in fact a commenting technique. Example: strFirstName, iNumberOfDays. There are different opinions about using this kind of type notation in programming nowadays. Some say that it’s useful, and it should be used everywhere to enhance clarity of your code. Others say it just obfuscates your code, because it has no real advantage in modern programming environments.

Our point of view is a moderated one: use it wisely, meaning, we only use Hungarian notation for private or local variables, that are only accessible and interesting to the programmer of the class. Don’t use it with public variables, properties or parameters in methods, because they are exposed to the outside world. Someone who uses your classes and accesses properties of your class, is not interested in type, but just wants to use them.

In the .NET framework, there are a lot of types, so we extended and adapted the Hungarian notation with our own type notation.

 Naming Guidelines

1).  Private Variables (Fields in C#) Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Prefix private variables with a “_” and Hungarian-style notation.

Case guidelines : Use camel case as a general rule, or uppercase for very small words. Example: _strFirstName, _dsetEmployees

2).  Local Variables Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Prefix private or local variables with Hungarian-style notation.

Case guidelines : Use camel case as a general rule, or uppercase for very small words. Example: strFirstName, dsetEmployees

3).  Namespace Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : The general rule for naming namespaces is to use the company name followed by the technology name and optionally the feature and design as follows: CompanyName.TechnologyName[.Feature][.Design]

Prefixing namespace names with a company name or other well-established brand avoids the possibility of two published namespaces having the same name. Use a stable, recognized technology name at the second level of a hierarchical name. Example: Ahmed.Traffic, System.Web.UI, System.Windows.Forms

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case as a general rule, or uppercase for very small words. Example: System.Windows.Forms, System.Web.UI

4).  Class Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Use a noun or noun phrase to name a class. Do not use a type prefix, such as C for class, on a class name. Do not use the underscore character (_).

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case. Example: FileStream, Button

5).  Interface Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Prefix interface names with the letter “I”, to indicate that the type is an interface. Do not use the underscore character (_).

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case. Example: IServiceProvider, IFormatable

6).  Parameter Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Use descriptive parameter names. Parameter names should be descriptive enough that the name of the parameter and its type can be used to determine its meaning in most scenarios. To distinguish parameters from other variables the prefix “p” should be used. Do not prefix parameter names with Hungarian type notation. Do not use a prefix for parameter names of an event handler and exceptions.

Case guidelines : Use camel case. Example: pTypeName, pNumberOfItems

7).  Method Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Use verbs or verb phrases to name methods.

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case. Example: RemoveAll(), GetCharAt()

8).  Property / Enumerations Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Use a noun or noun phrase to name properties. Do not use Hungarian notation.

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case. Example: BackColor, NumberOfItems

9).  Event Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Use an EventHandler suffix on event handler names. Specify two parameters named sender and e. The sender parameter represents the object that raised the event. The sender parameter is always of type object, even if it is possible to use a more specific type. The state associated with the event is encapsulated in an instance of an event class named e. Use an appropriate and specific event class for the e parameter type. Name an event argument class with the EventArgs suffix.

Case guidelines : Use Pascal case. Example: public delegate void MouseEventHandler(object sender, MouseEventArgs e);

10).  Exception Naming Guidelines

Naming guidelines : Event handlers in Visual Studio .NET tend to use an “e” parameter for the event parameter to the call. To ensure we avoid a conflict, we will use “ex” as a standard variable name for an Exception object. Example

11).   Constant Naming Guidelines

The names of variables declared class constants should be all uppercase with words separated by underscores. It is recommended to use a grouping naming schema. Example (for group AP_WIN): AP_WIN_MIN_WIDTH, AP_WIN_MAX_WIDTH, AP_WIN_MIN_HIGHT, AP_WIN_MAX_HIGHT

12). C# Primitive Type Notation

short   s
int     i
long    l
byte    y
ushort  us
uint    ui
ulong   ul
float   f
double  d
decimal dec
bool    b
char    c


13).  Visual Control Type Notation

Assembly                               asm
Boolean                                bln
Button                                 btn
Char                                   ch
CheckBox                               cbx
ComboBox                               cmb
Container                              ctr
DataColumn                             dcol
DataGrid                               dgrid
DataGridDateTimePickerColumn           dgdtpc
DataGridTableStyle                     dgts
DataGridTextBoxColumn                  dgtbc
DataReader                             dreader
DataRow                                drow
DataSet                                dset
DataTable                              dtable
DateTime                               date
Dialog                                 dialog
DialogResult                           dr
Double                                 dbl
Exception                              ex
GroupBox                               gbx
HashTable                              htbl
ImageList                              iml
Integer                                int
Label                                  lbl
ListBox                                lbx
ListView                               lv
MarshallByRefObject                    rmt
Mainmenu                               mm
MenuItem                               mi
MDI-Frame                              frame
MDI-Sheet                              sheet
NumericUpDown                          nud
Panel                                  pnl
PictureBox                             pbx
RadioButton                            rbtn
SDI-Form                               form
SqlCommand                             sqlcom
SqlCommandBuilder                      sqlcomb
SqlConnection                          sqlcon
SqlDataAdapter                         sqlda
StatusBar                              stb
String                                 str
StringBuilder                          strb
TabControl                             tabctrl
TabPage                                tabpage
TextBox                                tbx
ToolBar                                tbr
ToolBarButton                          tbb
Timer                                  tmr
UserControl                            usr
WindowsPrincipal                       wpl

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