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From Alex Blewitt <>
Subject Suggested coding convention: sort methods
Date Wed, 13 Aug 2003 12:40:41 GMT
One coding convention I've used in the past is sorting the contents of 
a file into alphabetical order. Some may argue that it makes it easier 
to find things; some may not care. A few of you will probably say it 
makes it worse :-)

One good thing about such a standard is that it is a standard that can 
be followed (and/or applied automatically to existing code). In much 
the same way that everyone working on a common coding convention will 
find things easier if everyone does it, the same can also apply to 
sorting the members.

Eclipse provides a way of configuring the sort orders as follows:

static fields (*)
static initialisers
static methods
instance fields
instance initialiser
instance methods

A nice property of a sorted file when using a source code control 
system that diffs is that diffs between two sorted files are likely to 
be the smallest possible (and perhaps, easier to merge when conflicts 

Of course, I suspect that many people will not be using Eclipse (or one 
that doesn't offer such sorting functionality) so perhaps this should 
be a recommendation rather than a standard, but if people think that it 
will make sense then we can work towards it. And it means if you add a 
few methods, trying to put them in the right 'sorted' place will then 

What do people think?


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