Thursday, 2 February 2012

Convention over Configuration - Case sensitivity?

Today I had a debate with a fellow employee about the naming conventions of some fields on a CRM form. It's a slightly off the norm of "convention vs configuration" arguments, instead it was more of a "Convention A vs Convention B" type argument. Take this example, the particular field that was added was a web resource. For other reasons we have some javascript that passes over the form to try locate these web resources. I designed the javascript so that it will always look for web resources that start with the following naming convention:


So, if we follow this convention we don't need to configure anything. Note that DS is a recognised acronym in our organisation. Unfortunately we ran into some problems in our testing environment, some of the controls weren't being detected. I take a look at the controls and they've been named:


Now, my gut reaction is to fix the script to allow for case sensitivity... but after a quick think this feels wrong to me. If we're following convention shouldn't it be case sensitive? For example, if we introduce camel casing on database field names then "productname" is incorrect, it should read "productName".

So instead of changing it I argued that it should follow the convention of _DS including upper case. I argued that if you follow "convention over configuration" it should include case sensitivity. This should be especially the case for known acronyms (if the convention states all upper-case for acronyms). The debate that he put forward is if you've ever read something like "the design of everyday things" everything should be intuitive, so 'DS' or 'ds' shouldn't matter.

I see his point... but I stick by my guns!

No comments:

Post a Comment