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An explanation of identifier names including some common rules for the C++ programming language.

Overview

Within programming a variety of items are given descriptive names to make the code more meaningful to us as humans. These names are called "Identifier Names". Constants, variables, type definitions, functions, etc. when declared or defined are identified by a name. These names follow a set of rules that are imposed by:

  1. the language's technical limitations
  2. good programming practices
  3. common industry standards for the language 

Technical to language

  • Use only allowable characters (for C++ the first character alphabetic or underscore, can continue with alphanumeric or underscore)
  • Can't use reserved words
  • Length limit

These attributes vary from one programming language to another. The allowable characters and reserved words will be different. The length limit refers to how many characters are allowed in an identifier name and often is compiler dependent and may vary from compiler to compiler for the same language. However, all programming languages have these three technical rules.

Good programming techniques

  • Meaningful
  • Be case consistent

Meaningful identifier names make your code easier for another to understand. After all what does "p" mean? Is it pi, price, pennies, etc. Thus do not use cryptic (look it up in the dictionary) identifier names.

Some programming languages treat upper and lower case letters used in identifier names as the same. Thus: pig and Pig are treated as the same identifier name. Unknown to you the programmer, the compiler usually forces all identifier names to upper case. Thus: pig and Pig both get changed to PIG. However not all programming languages act this way. Some will treat upper and lower case letters as being different things. Thus: pig and Pig are two different identifier names. If you declare it as pig and then reference it in your code later as Pig – you get a compiler error. To avoid the problem altogether, we teach students to be case consistent . Use an identifier name only once and spell it (upper and lower case) the same way within your program.

Industry rules

  • Do not start with underscore (used for technical programming)
  • variables in all lower case
  • CONSTANTS IN ALL UPPER CASE

These rules are decided by the industry (those who are using the programming language). The above rules were commonly used within the "C" programming language and have to large degree carried over to C++.

Definitions

reserved word
Words that cannot be used by the programmer as identifier names because they already have a specific meaning within the programming language.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
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how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Programming fundamentals - a modular structured approach using c++. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10621/1.22
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