Hyphens vs underscores in element names

KenB KenB at bristol.com
Wed Jan 26 14:08:35 GMT 2000

You wrote:

One of the more popular arguments between the development team for
FieldML regards a convention for the naming of elements and
attributes in our ML collection. The debate focuses over whether
we should use underscores (num_elements), hyphens (num-elements),
capitalisation (numElements) or runtogether (numelements). We've
eliminated capitalisation and runtogether because they don't
look as nice, and are now reduced to hyphens vs. underscores. The
older part of the development team is familiar with Fortran and C
and are keen to use underscores. However I've noticed in a brief
survey (results below) that most of the W3C-endorsed stuff seems
to feature minus signs.

Can anyone suggest any compelling reasons for going either way?
Does anyone want to add more data to my survey?

>> The most compelling reason to go with undercore is the C/C++and other
>> issue.  Its not just a matter of compilers.  There are a lot of new tools on
>> horizon that are/will be dealing with XML schemas and programming code.
>> tools will need to share symbol tables between the programming language and
>> the element/attribute names.  This is a lot easier if you don't have to
>> element tags programmatically to something that the language compilers will
>> like.

>> For example, its cool to have a code browser be able to click on an element
>> and automatically jump directly to the C++ class that implements that tag.
>> eXactML, we clean up any XML tags that are not valid C++/Java symbols when
>> we generate the output code.  This works fine, but symbols that have to be
>> scrubbed can't take as much advantage of VC++ navigation.

>> Its a pretty minor nit, but if its a simple choice of keeping symbols
friendly to both
>> environments, then thats the way to go.

Ken Blackwell

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