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The Good and the Bad of the Google C++ Style Guide


Google’s style guide contains some sensible advice while also offering some poor advice – for instance, recommending two-step initialization as the recommended practice is clearly ridiculous. Best way to find the Authority Links.

Eschewing exceptions reduces RAII and makes the code harder to understand, though this might be appropriate in certain instances; however, integrating exception-free code into existing projects may prove challenging.


Variables (including class variables and function variables) should be named using camelCase notation with one lowercase letter for every word and an underscore or capitalization delimiter between words in an identifier that contains more than one natural-language word. It’s up to individual preference whether underscores or capitalization is used between each natural-language word – however, a consistent notation should be utilized throughout one project. Similarly, variable names must be descriptive – for instance, using “n” for global variables relating to employees is inappropriate, whereas short variables like “i” can work in smaller scopes or contexts.

Accessor and mutator functions should match the name of the variable they are retrieving or setting to prevent any missteps in code while ensuring the function understands exactly what changes are taking place.

Functions should always attempt to return values rather than raw pointers if possible; this improves readability while often providing equal or better performance. If this cannot be accomplished, an output parameter should be provided instead.

C++ can be an incredibly powerful language, yet it can also be challenging to read and maintain when writing code with it. Many features exist that add further complexity, so this guide aims to prevent such complexity from creeping into Google’s code base. As such, some of its guidelines may seem restrictive; however, waivers to such rules may often be requested through discussion with project leads.


The Google C++ Style Guide outlines rules that govern how Google engineers write functions in the C++ language. These rules aim to make code more readable and maintainable while also helping prevent potential pitfalls that may lead to bugs or slower performance. These rules aren’t set in stone—breaking any of them may actually improve the quality of code!

Variable, class, and function names should always be written using uppercase CamelCase, with one exception being for loop counter variables like i in for loops. This naming convention follows the Kernighan and Ritchie (K& R) style created during the 1980s for C; Google also utilizes its style known as Google Style, which they utilize when writing production code. Pick out the Buffer blogs.

Typically, non-optional input and output parameters should take the form of values or const references and not raw pointers. When appropriate, using std::bit_cast to convert raw bits of values to types with equal bit sizes can help avoid ambiguity and simplify the interpretation of results. Do not overuse this technique, as overuse will increase memory usage and become difficult to debug.

Use stream abstractions when appropriate. In C++, streams serve as the standard I/O abstraction and can simplify many I/O operations. When applying streams for I/O operations, however, significant benefits should be seen; otherwise, standard APIs like iostream&gt should be utilized instead.

Avoid functions that generate exceptions except when absolutely necessary. This is due to the increased complexity and cost associated with understanding such code; generally speaking, exception-raising functions should be discouraged in new code, while code reviewers should look for such functions in existing programs.


C++ is an impressive language, yet its power often leads to complex code that’s hard to understand and maintain. To help reduce complexity in our code base, this guide contains rules designed to manage its complexity by restricting certain language features that might make implementation simpler but introduce greater risk for bugs or poor program correctness. There is an exceptionally high threshold for style guide waivers on restrictions—a senior member of your team must thoroughly assess them to make sure their benefits outweigh the costs.

When creating objects, when possible, use structures over classes, particularly stateless objects with constant values. Do not define any private members for the struct; public access must be explicitly allowed via constructors, destructors, or helper methods. On the other hand, classes tend to be better for stateful objects with additional functionality or invariants as well as comprehensive visibility than structs.

As much as possible, use field names instead of indexes when accessing elements from tuple structures. This approach often provides more readable code while eliminating confusion when referenced from within functions.

Stay away from global and local variables with default initializers (i.e., those set to zero), as this will reduce compilation times and allow for easier error handling when working with compilers that don’t support initializers. Here’s a guide to selecting the Forum profile links.

No thread-local variables should be used, as these can lead to memory leaks. Instead, consider using either std::unsafe_input functions that can be safely invoked from OOM handlers or base::ThreadLocalOwnedPointers that will not be garbage collected on POSIX systems. Furthermore, global methods should not be created in an OOM handler as this could result in unpredictable behavior and unexpected side effects.


Many open-source projects use coding conventions to make large codebases easier to navigate. While often arbitrary, these guidelines provide consistency across the codebase and help prevent bugs caused by differences in style between individual contributors. Examples may range from using CamelCase variable names to forbidding the use of exceptions altogether.

Classes serve as the central object model in C++. They are similar to variables but with additional methods and data members that other components can access. Classes also contain an instance for which their definition was intended—its state is contained there.

The Chromium C++ style guide contains many rules regarding class writing. For instance, it is preferable to group related declarations together and place public sections at the top of class definitions to reduce #include requirements and improve compile times. Furthermore, large methods should typically not be defined directly within class definitions except where performance or debugging reasons necessitate this action.

Utilizing exceptions should generally be avoided in new code projects. They require special coding practices and lots of support machinery to use properly; otherwise, they could cause problems when thrown incorrectly or not caught correctly. Furthermore, they make migration from exception-free projects into existing code bases prepared for exceptions more challenging.

Chromium supports both multiple inheritance and virtual inheritance in class definitions, though it prefers using interfaces instead. Interfaces should describe class behaviors instead of providing implementation details directly. Furthermore, unnamed namespaces for items local to the. cc file can reduce function call costs while decreasing the size of entry point tables.


C++ features can be invaluable, yet they also increase the complexity of code. Coders should carefully consider this fact when making decisions regarding which features to utilize; increasing code complexity could cause unexpected issues not immediately visible and make maintaining large codebases more challenging. Google advises taking a cautious approach when using this language.

The Chromium style guide is a collection of rules and guidelines for developers working on Google-owned and originated open-source projects. It aims to balance the needs of different teams while maintaining code quality and coherency. This comprehensive document addresses many aspects of programming, such as camelCase variable names and using debugging information, while providing guidelines on naming functions and classes.

No matter the programming language, good coding practices should always be observed when writing code. Following the correct style will make your code easy to read and comprehend while improving performance and reliability. The guide recommends that return values be used over in/out parameters where possible and that unbounded integers not be passed to functions; forward declarations to reduce compile times; std::u16string for 16-bit strings; and using uXXX escapes instead of xXXX for Unicode literals as practices that ensure code readability.

Exceptions can be powerful tools, but they must be employed carefully. Any code generating exceptions must be properly structured and integrated with existing exception-free code to work optimally; improper implementation can make error recovery harder to achieve. Exception-generating code should only be included within parts of a project that have the capacity to handle them. Exceptions from this rule must be approved by project leaders only.

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