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Jean-Baptiste is a French software engineer since 2007. He loves great user experience, simple and robust architectures, and solid tests. He blogs about good development and team practices, business and Korea (his wife's country). Always willing to learn from others and connect with fellow engineers from other countries. Jean-baptiste is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 6 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Your Best Developer Tool: An English Dictionary

08.01.2013
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If you can’t put a name on it, you don’t know what it is

While peer programming with a lead developer on an important iOS project, I discovered a plain English dictionary or a thesaurus is my best friend.

You need it to name your objects, variables, classes, services, folders, …

It’s the best way to see if you understand what you think you do. Concepts you will implement must have their own special vocabulary.

For example, we were looking at a name for a model object. The object had to be a pre-filling container to build a more complete report. It had to be displayed on an UI to be filled, and to be opened and transferred via an URL. So it was used both as front and backend representation.

Well, we searched a name for 2 hours.

The reason it was so difficult was that :

  • the concept was too close from another object, but different
  • the concept was vague
  • the concept had too many faces or too many responsibilities

We tried :

  • ReportExcerpt (hard to pronounce for French speakers)
  • ReportSummary
  • ReportIndex
  • ReportPrefiilingModel

We finally settled for : ReportSkeleton.

Thank you Mac OS Dictionary App:D (by the way it’s waaaay faster than the Internet, try it)

And it’s even more important if your are not a native english speaker. Don’t use a translator from your language to English. Search an English dictionary. You’ll win one level of vagueness and indirection of your idea.

dictionary

Published at DZone with permission of Jean-baptiste Rieu, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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