Coding Conventions : Java Glossary


Coding Conventions
Introduction Smalltalk Inspired Conventions
Capitalisation Learning More
Keyword Order Links


Sun has dared to go were mortals fear to tread and has laid down a set of coding conventions — how to lay out your code, where to break lines etc. I know of no tool to take messy code and tidy it up, making it conform to the Sun conventions. You can, however, beautify it, which does only a part of the job.

Some people will tell you that these conventions are optional They are optional in the same sense that clothes are optional for an inaugural ball. There is nothing to stop you from violating the conventions, but there will be consequences. If you fail to follow coding conventions, posters on the Internet will mercilessly berate you for writing deliberately opaque code and most employers will fire you. Treat the coding convention rules just as seriously as any other grammatical rules. Don’t let yourself get into sloppy habits while learning to code on you own. The conventions help you too, Don’t fight them.

Javac.exe will not give you any warning when you violate the coding conventions. You are completely on your own to ensure compliance.

The coding conventions are optional only in the sense that Javac does not consider its duty to enforce them because there are some rare circumstances where you might need to violate them in machine-generated code. Doug Lea, author of the book Concurrent Programming in Java also has a draft coding standard.


The basic rules are: These rules are particularly important when posting snippets on the Internet. If you violate them, your code will be confusing and people will likely bark at you for you inconsideration. If you insist on being sloppy, you will be soon fired from a programming team.

Keyword Order

In theory it does not matter if you say public static final or final static public, but if you follow the usual convention, other people will able to read your code more easily. The Java language specification makes recommendations about the order of modifiers. It strongly encourages the following order:

Smalltalk Inspired Conventions

I did contract work for a company called Immuexa. Immuexa follows
. In addition Immuexa has the following rules: You can have rwars about beautifier settings on how { } should align. It does not matter much as long as you are consistent on a project and always beautify before committing to the code repository. Without coding conventions that can be semi-automated with a beautifier, you will get all kinds of false deltas in the repository. This can make it impossible to track who changed what, when.

CodeCompanion checks your code for conformity to 26 coding convention rules.

Learning More

Doug Lea, author of the book Concurrent Programming in Java also has a draft coding standard.
book cover recommend book⇒The Elements of Java Styleto book home
by Al Vermeulen [Editor], Scott W. Ambler, Greg Bumgardner, Eldon Metz, Alan Vermeulen, Trevor Misfeldt, Jim Shur, Patrick Thompson 978-0-521-77768-1 paperback
publisher Cambridge University B000SEPERW kindle
published 2000-01
Covers coding conventions and how to write maintainable code. excerpt.
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