24 March 2008

MbUnit for ReSharper 4

Albert Weinert ported MbUnit plugin to ReSharper 4 API, so you can try it with latest ReSharper 4 nightly builds. Read more and download Beta 7.

04 March 2008

Varification -- Using Implicitly Typed Locals

With the ReSharper 4 nightly builds available, some people are complaining about numerious suggestions to convert explicit type to "var" keyword. Of course, you can hide this suggestion by using Options / Code Inspection / Inspection Severity, or by using Alt-Enter and selecting "Change severity" option. But what's the deal with implicitly typed locals, anyway? Using var keyword can significantly improve your code, not just save you some typing. However, it may require discipline to apply good practices when using implicitly typed variables. Here is my list:

  • It is required to express variables of anonymous type. This is pretty obvious - you cannot declare local variable of anonymous type without using var.

  • It induces better naming for local variables. When you read local variable declaration with explicit type, you have more information at that moment and something like "IUnitTestElement current" makes sense. However, when this local variable is used later, you read "current" which takes some time to figure out the meaning. Using "var currentElement" makes it easier to read at any place.

  • It induces better API. When you let compiler deduce type from method return type or property type, you have to have good types in the first place. When you don't have explicit type in the initialization expression, you have to have best names for members.

  • It induces variable initialization. It is generally a good practice to initialize variable in the declaration, and compiler needs initializer to infer type for local variable declared with "var" keyword.

  • It removes code noise. There are a lot of cases, when implicitly typed local will reduce amount of text developer needs to read, or rather skip. Declaring local variable from new object expression or cast expression requires specifying type twice, if we don't use "var". With generics it can lead to a lot of otherwise redundant code. Another example would be iteration variable in foreach over Dictionary<TKey,TValue>.

  • It doesn't require using directive. With var, you don't have explicit reference to type, as compiler infers type for you, so you don't need to import namespace when you need a temporary variable.

To summarize the list above, by actively using var keyword and refactoring your code as needed you improve the way your code speaks for itself.

PS: Visit ReSharper at Visual Studio Gallery!