Why You Should Never Start Variable Names with Underscores!
Starting a variable name with an underscore is not encouraged because it can lead to many problems in programming. In this blog post, we'll explore why variable names beginning with an underscore are discouraged and the potential issues they can cause.
What Exactly is a Variable?
In programming, a variable is a name that refers to a value. It is used to store information so that it can be used later in the program. Variables can store any type of data, including numbers, strings, lists, and objects. Variables are typically declared with an equal sign (=) followed by the value it will store.
Why are Underscores Discouraged in Variable Names?
Variable names beginning with an underscore are discouraged because they can cause confusion for both the programmer and the program. Underscores can have special meanings in programming languages, such as being a part of a keyword or reserved word. For example, in Python, an underscore is used to indicate a private variable, while in C++, underscores are used as a prefix in user-defined literal constants.
Additionally, underscores are often used as a way to separate words in multi-word variable names. While this is fine for short variable names, it can cause confusion when the variable name is very long. For example, a variable declared as “_this_is_a_long_variable_name” would be difficult to read and understand.
Finally, variable names beginning with an underscore can cause problems when the program is compiled. Depending on the programming language, the compiler may treat the underscore as a special character and give an error. For example, in C++, all variable names must begin with a letter or an underscore, so a variable name starting with an underscore will cause a compiler error.
Recommendations for Choosing Variable Names
It's best to avoid variable names beginning with an underscore, but there are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a variable name. First, make sure the variable name is descriptive and easy to understand. For example, instead of using a variable named “x”, use a variable name like “total_price”. This will make the code easier to read and understand.
Second, be consistent with the style you choose for variable names. For example, if you are using camel case (first_name), then use it for all variable names. This will make the code more organized and easier to read.
Finally, make sure the variable name is not the same as a keyword or reserved word used by the programming language. This can cause errors when the program is compiled.
Variable names beginning with an underscore are not encouraged because they can lead to confusion and errors. Instead, choose descriptive variable names that are easy to read and follow a consistent style. By taking the time to choose the right variable names, you can make your code easier to read and understand.