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Dpkg C coding style 2009-09-29
C language extensions
The code base assumes C89 plus the following C99 extensions:
* Named initializers.
* Trailing comma in enum.
* Variadic macros.
* Working bool type in <stdbool.h>.
Those are checked at build time, and it will abort in case a needed extension
is not supported.
Most of the Linux CodingStyle applies.
The code has a mix of an old coding style being phased out and the new
style. New files should use the new style, changes to files with the old
style should switch the code being touched except for the indentation level,
which should be preserved to match (2 spaces).
Code should generally strive for clarity. Monster functions should be split
into logical and small pieces.
Variable and function names should be generally descriptive, not needed
for variables commonly used (for example and index inside a loop, etc),
acronyms should only be used if they are widely known externally or
inside the project. The names should separate logical concepts within
with underscores.
On comments use UTF-8 characters for quotes, copyrigth symbols, etc.
On strings in code use simple or double quotes «''» «""». Not the unpaired
ones «`'». Strings marked for translation, should only be fixed if there's
other changes to be done on them, oterwise we get unneeded fuzzies.
Code documentation
Public declarations should be documented using JavaDoc style comments.
Indentation, alignment and spacing
Lines should be 80 chars max. Indentation is done with hard tabs (which
should be considered to take 8 spaces width). Aligning with spaces:
static void
function(void *ptr, int value)
void *ref_ptr = get_ref(ptr);
int ref_value = get_value(ref);
if (value > 10)
do_something(GLOBAL_MACRO, ptr, value, "some-string",
ref_ptr, ref_value, "other-string",
When wrapping, logical operators should be kept on the preceding line:
if (really_long_variable_to_be_checked_against_a &&
Spaces between operators:
if (a && (b || c) && c == d)
a = (b + 4 * (5 - 6)) & 0xff;
Spaces between asignments:
a += b;
Spaces after comma:
foo(a, b);
Space after keywords (for, while, do, if, etc, but sizeof should be
treated like a function):
for (i = 0; i < 10; i++)
memcpy(dst, src, sizeof(src));
Definition of local variables, related code blocks, functions bodies
should be split with blank lines:
int a;
return 0;
Braces should be placed on the same line as the keyword, but on a new line
for the function body. No braces should be used for unambiguous one line
if (a > 0) {
} else {
for (;;) {
do {
} while (quux());
switch (foo) {
case a:
case b:
Code conventions
Prefer assigning outside of conditionals:
n = read_items();
if (n < 100)
String comparisons should use comparison operators to make it easier to
see what operation is being done:
if (strcmp(a, b) == 0)
if (strcmp(a, b) < 0)
Dpkg Perl coding style 2010-05-10
In general you should follow the conventions listed in perlstyle(1).
All the code should run with the “use strict” and “use warnings” pragmas.
Code documentation
Public modules should be documented with POD (see perlpod(1)). Private
code doesn't have to use POD, simple comment lines (starting with "#") are
enough. Public scripts are documented in their corresponding manual pages.
Indentation, alignment and spacing
Lines should be 80 chars max. The indentation level is 4 characters, and
indentation is done with hard tabs (which should be considered to take 8
spaces width) and spaces.
if ($foo) {
if ($bar) {
print "Hello\n";
unless ($baz) {
print "Who are you?\n";
Perl version
We don't want to impose a too-recent Perl version, so only use features
supported by the Perl version that is currently in Debian oldstable when
possible. Currently that means Perl 5.8.8.
Object methods
Use a single line to retrieve all the arguments and use $self as name
for the current object:
sub do_something {
my ($self, $arg1, $arg2, %opts) = @_;
Supplementary optional arguments should be named and thus stored in a