CVSTrac Coding Guidelines

These are more like observations from a latecomer, but better than nothing. CvstracArchitecture is a big picture overview. This talks about the nitty-gritty coding details.


CVSTrac source uses two spaces for indentation, no tabs.

Braces and Parentheses

Braces are a modified K&R. Generally, there should be no whitespace between the trailing paren and the leading brace. i.e.

  void function(args){
    if( condition ){

In the case of else and else if keywords, also eliminate extra whitespace:

  if( condition ){
  }else if( condition2 ){

Within parentheses, rules differ. For example, if and while statements use internal whitespace:

  if( condition ){
    while( v[i] ) i++;

but for loops are a bit different:

  for(i=0; i<40; i++){

Note that single-line if, for and occasionally while constructs are perfectly acceptable:

  if( tn<=0 ) tn = 1;
  for(nChng=0; az[nChng]; nChng++){}


CVSTrac has a magical preprocessor which extracts HTML strings prefixed inline by '@' characters and basically turns them into cgi_printf() calls. CvstracArchitecture discusses this further.


Variable naming is partially Hungarian style.

Some commonly used variable names

Frequently Seen Functions

Not even close to a complete list.


CVSTrac doesn't worry about memory management! It's assumed that a CVSTrac instance will live only long enough to serve out a request and then resources will be reclaimed (AKA garbage collection by exit()). As such, you frequently see constructs like:

  zPath = mprintf("%s/%s", zDir, zFile);

without a corresponding free(). The only time memory is really a concern happens when a large amount of activity happens in a loop. In such instances, free() or db_query_free() will be used.

Format Strings

CVSTrac uses a custom mprintf() which supports additional formatting. For security purposes, the following are preferred over just %s:


CVSTrac cares about security. This means dynamic memory allocation where possible, really large static buffers with limits on the size of copies, heavy use of the %q format (as found in mprintf() and db_query()), and a lot of heavily used helper functions to manage all this.

Platform Dependent Code

Platform dependent code is generally caused Windows API incompatibility with general UNIX (POSIX) specification and Windows command line and shell command line differences. Where it is possible Windows code parts are distinguished with OS_VAL macro.

Where it is not possible, #ifdef CVSTRAC_WINDOWS preprocessor conditional block is used (CVSTRAC_WINDOWS is defined within the code in Windows) and appropriate comment regarding the difference is provided.