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Tips on Matlab Coding

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they first start with Matlab coding is they don’t understand the scope of variables. Variables with large scopes should have meaningful longer names that help those who are reading the code later to understand what’s going on.

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Short names should generally be reserved for variables that have a smaller scope. This kind of tip is the timesaving thing that will help people out later down the road if they have to take a second look at their software.

Top Five Coding Tips

People who want to learn more about the best practices when it comes to Matlab code techniques should have a look at the following list of tips:

  • Variable names should always be in mixed case. They should start with the lower case, so a variable that describes a potential increase should be called “potentialIncrease” and not “Potential increase” or “Potential Increase.”
  • All variables that represent a number of objects should begin with the n prefix. For example, someone counting boards would need to use nBoards as a variable name. This also helps when it comes time to sort them, since all numeric variables will start with a single letter.
  • Any time that iterator variables show their ugly heads they need to be prefixed with an i, j or k. This notation is taken from an existing convention in mathematics, and it should carry over quite nicely to the world of statistical analysis.
  • Users might need to take a second look at boolean functions. Most people want to use is as a prefix when naming them. For instance considering this code segment:
ispricedright(.); ishere(.); isnow(.n); is later(.)

However, some situations might warrant a change, and there are other coding prefixes available for those who need them. For instance, has, should and can are all equally valid as is. Consider this code segment:

hasCard(.); canDrive(.); shouldPurchase(.);
  • Always remember to reduce complexity by using symmetrical design. Complement names have to be used for complement operations. Get should always be used with set. Create has to be paired with destroy. Start and stop should be paired, as should insert and delete. Symmetrical design is how things should generally always work. Writing code any other way is inviting a lot of chaos into the design.

 A Final Tip

matlab coding

Individuals who write a ton of Matlab code or r code are at risk for shadowing. Always avoid shadowing if it’s unintentional. Each function name should generally be unique. Shadowing refers to having two or more functions that share a name. This increases the possibility of unexpected behaviors or downright errors. Those who are afraid something like this happened should use the -all or exist commands to check for any type of duplicate coding structure. Just do not forget that any issue can be solved with our statistical data analysis services.

To get help with matlab coding, contact us anytime!