Coding Style

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This page describes the coding style used in xf86-input-wacom. If you submit a patch please make sure the style adheres to this guideline or the patch may be rejected.

Tip: Any coding style is incomplete. There are always edge cases that rely on personal taste or common sense overriding rules. Take all this with a grain of salt.

C coding style

  • Tab is set to 8 characters
  • Default indentation is one tab
  • Indentation with tabs and remaining spaces to align up code where necessary. Example below shows tabs with ">----" and spaces with ".".
>-------if (InitValuatorClassDeviceStruct(pInfo->dev, nbaxes,
>------->------->------->------->-------..(is_absolute(pInfo) ?  Absolute : Relative) | OutOfProximity) == FALSE)
  • Opening curly braces { go on a new line. Closing curly braces } go on the same line as else. e.g.
if (condition)
} else {
  • Declarations should be aligned. e.g.
int a   = 0;
int foo = 10;
int bar = 11;
  • No hungarian notation. There are a few exceptions for this (pInfo, pDev and some remainders of old code).
  • Use const for pointers where appropriate.

Each new file requires the following line at the bottom of the file:

 /* vim: set noexpandtab tabstop=8 shiftwidth=8: */

Tip: The above line will cause vim to autoconfigure indentation and tab settings

Doxygen style

xf86-input-wacom has a strict requirement on doxygen. This means that any new function must have doxygen comments explaining the function's purpose, it's input and its output. Very few exception will be granted.

We use javadoc-style comments with autobrief enabled. Thus, doxygen keywords need to be prefixed with "@" and the first line of a comment must be a summary of the function.

The three most common keywords and their usage are:

  • @param <param name> <param description>: describes a parameter of name param name. This keyword must be present for all parameters of a function.
    • Special case: @param[out] <param name> <param description: describes a parameter that returns a value.
    • Special case: @param[in|out] <param name> <param description: describes a parameter that is used as input and output, thus returning a value.
    • Special case: @param[in] <param name> <param description: describes a parameter that is only used as input value. This case may be ommitted but if a function provides several in or out parameters, it is helpful to explicitly specify it.
  • @return <return value description>: describes the return value for a function. This keyword must be present for all functions that return a value, unless @retval is used.
  • @retval <return value> <return value description>: describes a specific return value that may be returned by the function. This keyword may be used instead of @return provided all possible values are described. This keyword may be used in addition to @return for special return values (e.g. error codes).

A function description should be brief and comprehensive, describing the intent of the function, but not necessarily the details of how it works.

The xf86-input-wacom driver is not a library, no-one cares about our header files. Our comments are to aid driver developers only and thus comments must be placed before the code of the function, not in the declaration of the function.


 * Copy matching foo structs into freshly allocated memory.
 * This function determines the required size to hold a number of foo structs
 * and copies the matching foo structs into this memory. Structs that don't 
 * match the filter are skipped.
 * This function allocates memory to be freed by the caller.
 * @param foo The list of foos to copy.
 * @param filter Only foos matching this filter will be copied.
 * @param[out] data The list of newly copied foos. Memory is allocated and must
 *                  be freed by the caller. If 0 or -1 is returned, the value
 *                  of data is undefined.
 * @return Returns the number of foos copied into data.
 * @retval 0 List of foos was empty or no foos matched the filter.
 * @retval -1 Allocation error.
int allocate_and_copy(const struct foo *foos, int filter, char **data)

The aim for any function description is that anyone reading the comment should be able to write a test against this function without ever looking at the function code.

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