<language, convention> A linguistic convention requiring one or more
letters to be added to the start of variable names to denote scope and/or type.
Hungarian Notation is mainly confined to Microsoft Windows programming
environments, such as Microsoft C, C++ and Visual Basic. It was originally
devised by Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian, who was a senior programmer at
Microsoft for many years. He disliked the way that names in C programs gave no
clue as to the type, leading to frequent programmer errors.
According to legend, fellow programmers at Microsoft, on seeing the convoluted,
vowel-less variable names produced by his scheme, said, "This might as well be
in Greek - or even Hungarian!". They made up the name "Hungarian notation"
(possibly with "reverse Polish notation" in mind).
Hungarian Notation is not really necessary when using a modern strongly-typed
language as the compiler warns the programmer if a variable of one type is used
as if it were another type. It is less useful in object-oriented programming
languages such as C++, where many variables are going to be instances of classes
and so begin with "obj".
In addition, variable names are essentially only comments, and thus are just as
susceptible to becoming out-of-date and incorrect as any other comment. For
example, if a signed short int becomes an unsigned long int, the variable name,
and every use of it, should be changed to reflect its new type.
A variable's name should describe the values it holds. Type and scope are
aspects of this, but Hungarian Notation overemphasises their importance by
allocating so much of the start of the name to them. Furthermore, type and scope
information can be found from the variable's declaration. Ironically, this is
particularly easy in the development environments in which Hungarian Notation is
Simonyi's original monograph.
Microsoft VB Naming Conventions.
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