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Don't name your class "XXXManager"

How to you name your classes? How many classes you have in your current project named "Manager" and "Repository"? In the last period of time I saw a lot of classes named "Manager", so may that I begin to think that this is a suffix for any class that do some actions.
In this blog post I will talk about some suffixed that can be used when we need to name a class. First of all let why I don't like the "Manager" suffix? Because you cannot understand what the class do. Basically, "Manager" is so general that you can put almost anything there. When I read the name of the class I expect to understand what it does. For example a class with "Writer" suffix will tell me that this class is used to write data.
In the next part of the post I will enumerate some common suffix and when we can use them:
  • XXXFactory - Create objects
  • XXXWritter - Write data to a specific location
  • XXXReader - Read data from a specific location
  • XXXProtocol - Define a specific protocal
  • XXXConverter - A coverter that is used to convert from one type to another
  • XXXShepherd - Manage the lifetime of objects from creation to unload (delete)
  • XXXCoordinator - Coordinates a specific action or object
  • XXXBuilder - Is able to create new instances of objects
  • XXXContainer - A container of elements
  • XXXHandler - An handler for some a functionality
  • XXXController - Define a controller for an object
  • XXXEntity - Define an entity
  • XXXView - Define a view for a specific class.
  • XXXTarget
  • XXXSynchronizer
  • XXXBucket
  • XXXAttribute
  • XXXType
  • XXXEditor
  • XXXBase
  • XXXNode
  • XXXItem
  • XXXInfo
  • XXXHelper
  • XXXProvider
  • XXXException
  • XXXService (you can have the same problem as with Manager)
And so on...
There are so many ways how we suffix a class that we don't need to stuck only on one or two names. For example if you see "FooManager" will you be able to know that this class synchronize content with a remote server? If you name your class "FooSynchronizer" any programmer that will read the name of the class will know what it does.
In conclusion try don't stuck only one XXXManager and XXService. The "Clean Code" book is a good starting point.

Comments

  1. indeed: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?DontNameClassesObjectManagerHandlerOrData :)

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