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Micro-Manager Coding Style and Conventions

Micro-Manager Coding Style

Formatting and style

  • All indents are 3 spaces (no tab characters).
  • Curly braces open in the same line in Java and in a new line in C++ (see examples).
  • Class names begin with uppercase, and with each word capitalized, e.g. MyFirstClass.
  • Function names use the same convention except that in Java they begin with lowercase and in C++ with uppercase, e.g. MyFunc() in C++ and myFunc() in Java.
  • All variables begin with lower case, e.g. myVar.
  • Class member variables begin with lowercase and end with underscore, e.g. memberVar_.
  • Do not use this->memberVar_ idiom unless it is absolutely necessary to avoid confusion.
  • Static constants in C++: const char* const g_Keyword_Description.
  • Static constants in Java: static final String METADATA_FILE_NAME.
  • if/else, for, and while statements should include curly braces, even if they are only followed by a single line.
  • For Java code, follow the Java style recommendations at Geosoft.

Comments, headers, etc…

  • Function/class headers use documentation JavaDoc convention (see examples).
  • The code should be clear and self explanatory.
  • Use comments to explain algorithms and anything that is not self evident.
  • Function headers should explain the “contract” with the caller if it is not totally clear from the function signature (parameters). In general all public methods should have headers.
  • Use common sense and avoid unnecessary headers and comments for code that is obvious.
  • In general, do not enter revision history comments in the source code, nor in the file header. They impair readability and break the visual flow.


Revision/change tracking

  • Only the latest version matters. Keep the code elegant and simple (both visually and functionally).
  • Use source code control to retain the revision history in the particular file, i.e. check in the SVN often and each time enter the revision history comment.
  • Work incrementally. Make small changes and make sure the code compiles. Check-in after every major step to retain revision history.
  • If there is a danger of destabilizing the main application, open a branch and work in it for a while, but still check in at least once each day.

Micro-Manager Coding Conventions

Exceptions in mmstudio

org.micromanager.utils.ReportingUtils is a static Java class that contains methods to simplify reporting Java errors and exceptions to the user and logging them in the CoreLog. The class methods ReportingUtils.showError(...) or ReportingUtils.logError(...) should be used in catch blocks. ReportingUtils.showError(...) is useful for infrequent exceptions, while ReportingUtils.logError(...) should be used in loops so that the user is not force to acknowledge a whole series of errors.

You can automate generation of such catch blocks in Eclipse by going to:

Preferences > Java > Code Templates > Code > Catch block body > Edit...

and change the Pattern to:

// ${todo} Auto-generated catch block
ReportingUtils.showError(${exception_var});
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