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Cataclysm: Bright Nights

C++ Code Style Guide

All of the C++ code in the project is styled, you should run any changes you make through astyle before pushing a pull request.

We are using astyle version 3.0.1. Version 3.1 should also work, though there are a few cases where they disagree and require annotation.

Blocks of code can be passed through astyle to ensure that their formatting is correct:

astyle --style=1tbs --attach-inlines --indent=spaces=4 --align-pointer=name --max-code-length=100 --break-after-logical --indent-classes --indent-preprocessor --indent-switches --indent-col1-comments --min-conditional-indent=0 --pad-oper --unpad-paren --pad-paren-in --add-brackets --convert-tabs

These options are mirrored in .astylerc, doc/CODE_STYLE.txt and msvc-full-features/AStyleExtension-Cataclysm-BN.cfg

For example, from vi, set marks a and b around the block, then:

:'a,'b ! astyle  --style=1tbs --attach-inlines --indent=spaces=4 --align-pointer=name --max-code-length=100 --break-after-logical --indent-classes --indent-preprocessor --indent-switches --indent-col1-comments --min-conditional-indent=0 --pad-oper --unpad-paren --pad-paren-in --add-brackets --convert-tabs

See for other environments.

Code Example

Here’s an example that illustrates the most common points of style:

int foo( int arg1, int *arg2 )
    if( arg1 < 5 ) {
        switch( *arg2 ) {
            case 0:
                return arg1 + 5;
            case 1:
                return arg1 + 7;
                return 0;
    } else if( arg1 > 17 ) {
        int i = 0;
        while( i < arg1 ) {
            printf( _( "Really long message that's pointless except for the number %d and for its "
                       "length as it's illustrative of how to break strings properly.\n" ), i );
    return 0;

Code Guidelines

These are less generic guidelines and more pain points we’ve stumbled across over time.

  • Prefer int.
    • long in particular is problematic since it is not a larger type than int on some platforms we support.
    • Using integral value larger than 32 bits should be avoided. Use int64_t if it’s really necessary.
    • uint is also a problem, it has poor behavior when overflowing and should be avoided for general purpose programming.
      • If you need binary data, unsigned int or unsigned char are fine, but you should probably use a std::bitset instead.
    • float is to be avoided, but has valid uses.
  • Auto Almost Nothing. Auto has two uses, others should be avoided.
    • Aliasing for extremely long iterator or functional declarations.
    • Generic code support (but decltype is better).
  • Avoid using declaration for standard namespaces.