Metasyntactic Poetry


Here’s a part of the source code to my Google Chrome Extension – CM Calendar (available for download on the Chrome Web Store)

Picking good names for variables is not an unimportant aspect of programming. In programming tutorials and in code samples you usually encounter the same variable names again and again. Those reoccurring so called metasyntactic variables are meaningless place holder names used to represent actual variable names. The classic and number one metasyntactic variable name in programming is Foo. The general idea with these code samples is that the variable Foo is supposed to be exchanged for a proper variable having a name that preferably reflects its function. As you probably can see from my above example I don’t always follow that convention. I tend to stick with the metasyntactic and nonsense variable names because I don’t want the poetic qualities of those words to be clouded by meaning.

PS: The source code color scheme used above is really nice. Color coding makes programming a lot easier. But the specific color scheme is not a deliberate aesthetic choice of mine. It’s actually the default color scheme used by my text editor Sublime Text.



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