JavaScript Variable Casing Best Practices

code | 2-8-2011

JavaScript is a loosely-typed case sensitive language. Technically everything in the language is a variable. Yes, it may be a string, a function, an array or an object, but everything is a variable at its core. Because you can make your variables all lowercase or all uppercase or anywhere in between, it’s important for the sake of code readability to have a pattern for how the variables will be cased.

The following is the best practices for variable casing and is useful to encourage a greater consistency in JavaScript code:

Variables

For dynamic strings, ints, floats and arrays, use camel casing.

var myVariable = 'This is my string';
console.log(myVariable);

Objects

Classes should be camel-cased.

var myObject = { hello: 'world' };
console.log(myObject);

Constants

Constants are similar to dynamic variables, but the difference is that they should never change once they are set. Think of these as configuration variables. Constants should be upper cased with an underscore between each word.

var MY_CONSTANT = ‘I am a constant!’;
console.log(MY_CONSTANT);

Functions and Methods

Functions and methods should both use camel casing.

var myFunction = function(){
   console.log(‘I am a function!’);
};
myFunction();

Classes

Classes look quite a bit like functions, but they are initialized using ‘new’. JavaScript classes should use upper casing.

var MyClass = function(){
   this.alert = function(){
      console.log(‘I am a Class!’);
   }
}

var getClass = new MyClass();
getClass.alert();

Obviously, this isn't going to instantly fix all of the coding issues in the world, but follow these guidelines and your code will be just a little more legible!



About the Author

Tyson Cadenhead is a Senior JavaScript Developer at Aloompa. He lives in the greater Nashville area. His specialty is writing large, scalable JavaScript applications on the client and server side. His passions are for good design, usability, and clean, reusable code.

Tags: JavaScript

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