Beside Dynatrace specific guidelines the following coding standards are also heavily inspired by the Angular Material Coding Standards and the Google JavaScript Style Guide which give us a solid foundation for our component library.

General

Comments

  • Write useful comments
  • Comments that explain what some block of code does are nice. They can tell you something in less time than it would take to follow through the code itself.
  • Comments that explain why some block of code exists at all, or does something the way it does, are invaluable. The "why" is difficult, or sometimes impossible, to track down without seeking out the original author.
  • In TypeScript code, use JsDoc-style comments for descriptions (on classes, members, etc.) and use // style comments for everything else (explanations, background info, etc.).
  • In SCSS code, always use // style comments.

Granularity

  • Prefer more focused, granular components vs. complex, configurable components.
  • Prefer small, focused modules.
  • Keeping modules to a single responsibility makes the code easier to test, consume, and maintain. Ideally, individual files are 200 - 300 lines of code.
  • As a rule of thumb, once a file draws near 400 lines (barring abnormally long constants / comments), start considering how to refactor into smaller pieces.

API Design

  • Once a feature is released, it never goes away. We should avoid adding features that don't offer high user value for price we pay both in maintenance, complexity, and payload size. When in doubt, leave it out.
  • This applies especially to providing two different APIs to accomplish the same thing. Always prefer sticking to a single API for accomplishing something.
  • Avoid adding boolean arguments to a method in cases where that argument means "do something extra". In these cases, prefer breaking the behavior up into different functions.

Bad:

function getTargetElement(createIfNotFound = false) {
  // ...
}

Good:

function getExistingTargetElement() {
  // ...
}

function createTargetElement() {
  // ...
}

Typescript

Naming

  • Prefer writing out words instead of using abbreviations.
  • Except for @Input properties, use is and has prefixes for boolean properties / methods.

Local Variables

  • Declare all local variables with either const or let. Use const by default, unless a variable needs to be reassigned.
  • The var keyword must not be used.
  • Every local variable declaration declares only one variable: declarations such as let a = 1, b = 2; are not used.
  • Local variables are not always declared at the start of their containing block or block-like construct. Instead, local variables can also be declared close to the point they are first used (within reason), to minimize their scope.

Constants

Module (file) wide constants that may also be exported should be uppercase. Local constants should be handled like local variables or changed to a global one.

Bad:

export const dtColors = ['#ffffff', '#000000'];

Good:

export const DT_COLORS = ['#ffffff', '#000000'];

Arrays

  • Do not use the Array constructor. The constructor is error-prone if arguments are added or removed. Use a literal instead.

Bad:

const a1 = new Array(x1, x2, x3);

Good:

const a1 = [x1, x2, x3];
  • Explicitly allocating an array of a given length using new Array(length) is allowed when appropriate.
  • Do not define or use non-numeric properties on an array (other than length). Use a Map (or Object) instead.

Destructuring

  • Array literals may be used on the left-hand side of an assignment to perform destructuring. A final rest element may be included.
const [a, b, c, ...rest] = generateResults();
  • Not used elements should be omitted when performing a destructuring.
let [, b, , d] = someArray;

Spread operator

  • Array literals may include the spread operator (...) to flatten elements out of one or more other iterables.
  • The spread operator should be used instead of more awkward constructs with Array.prototype.
[...foo]   // preferred over Array.prototype.slice.call(foo)
[...foo, ...bar]   // preferred over foo.concat(bar)

Objects

  • Do not use the Object constructor. Use an object literal ({} or { a: 0, b: 1, c: 2 }) instead.
  • Do not mix quoted and unquoted keys. Object literals may represent either structs (with unquoted keys and/or symbols) or dicts (with quoted and/or computed keys).
  • For dicts consider using Map instead.
  • Avoid using methods in objects if possible. Consider using Classes instead.
  • Shorthand properties are allowed on object literals.

Destructuring

  • Object destructuring patterns may be used on the left-hand side of an assignment to perform destructuring and unpack multiple values from a single object.
  • Destructured objects may also be used as function parameters, but should be kept as simple as possible: a single level of unquoted shorthand properties.
  • Deeper levels of nesting and computed properties may not be used in parameter destructuring.
  • Specify any default values in the left-hand-side of the destructured parameter ({str = 'some default'} = {}, rather than {str} = {str: 'some default'})

Example:

function destructured(ordinary, { num, str = 'some default' } = {});

Enums

  • Additional properties may not be added to an enum after it is defined.
  • All enum values must be deeply immutable.
  • Prefer const enums for improved compile output.

Discouraged:

enum OptionType {
  Option1,
  Option2,
}

Preferred:

const enum OptionType {
  Option1,
  Option2,
}

Classes

  • Classes should be named based on what they're responsible for. Names should capture what the code does, not how it is used.
  • Each class should have a single responsibility. Avoid God-Objects.
  • Avoid suffixing a class with "Service" or "Component", as it communicates nothing about what the class does.
  • Prefix consumer facing classes with Dt (e.g. DtButton).

Methods

  • The name of a method should capture the action that is performed by that method rather than describing when the method will be called.
  • When naming generic method used just for handling events use the pattern handle<EventName> (e.g. handleMouseMove). Avoid the on prefix.

Access modifiers

  • Omit the public keyword as it is the default behavior.
  • Use private when appropriate and possible, prefixing the name with an underscore.
  • Use protected when appropriate and possible with no prefix.
  • Prefix library-internal properties and methods with an underscore without using the private keyword and apply the @internal annotation. This is necessary for anything that must be public (to be used by Angular), but should not be part of the consumer-facing API. This typically applies to symbols used in template expressions, @ViewChildren / @ContentChildren properties, host bindings, and @Input / @Output properties (when using an alias).

Getters and setters

  • Getters and setters should only be used when additional logic is required despite setting/getting a property. For example the call of a coercion function.
  • Avoid long or complex getters and setters. Introduce a new method to contain the logic if the logic of the accessor would take to many lines.
  • A getter should immediately precede its corresponding setter (getter before the setter).
  • Decorators such as @Input should be applied to the getter and not the setter.
  • Always use a readonly property instead of a getter (with no setter) when possible (no additional logic).

Inheritance

Avoid using inheritance to apply reusable behaviors to multiple components. This limits how many behaviors can be composed. Instead, TypeScript mixins can be used to compose multiple common behaviors into a single component.

Static

  • Avoid using static only classes. There are better ways in JavaScript (like using a plain object or exporting constants directly).
  • Use static properties/methods with care. Try to use top-level (pure) functions or constants if possible. This makes it also easier to control who can use it.

Arrow functions

  • Arrow functions provide a concise syntax and fix a number of difficulties with this. Prefer arrow functions over the function keyword, particularly for nested functions.
  • Avoid assigning arrow functions to top-level constants when possible. For top-level functions the function keyword is preferred.
  • Prefer using arrow functions over fn.bind(this)
  • Avoid writing const self = this. Arrow functions are particularly useful for callbacks, which sometimes pass unexpected additional arguments.

Spread operator

Prefer the spread operator to Function.prototype.apply when an array or iterable is unpacked into multiple parameters of a variadic function.

String literals

  • Ordinary string literals are delimited with single quotes ('), rather than double quotes ("). Ordinary string literals may not span multiple lines.
  • Use template strings (delimited with ```) over complex string concatenation, particularly if multiple string literals are involved. Template strings may span multiple lines.
  • If a template string spans multiple lines, it does not need to follow the indentation of the enclosing block, though it may if the added whitespace does not matter.
  • If indentation is preferred concatenate lines using the + operator.
const text =
  'It is a long established fact that a reader' +
  'will be distracted by the readable content of a page when' +
  'looking at its layout.';
  • Do not use line continuations (that is, ending a line inside a string literal with a backslash) in either ordinary or template string literals. Even though ES5 allows this, it can lead to tricky errors if any trailing whitespace comes after the slash, and is less obvious to readers.

Bad:

const text =
  'It is a long established fact that a reader \
  will be distracted by the readable content of a page when \
  looking at its layout.';

Good:

const text =
  'It is a long established fact that a reader' +
  'will be distracted by the readable content of a page when' +
  'looking at its layout.';

Control structures

  • for-of loops should be preferred when possible.
  • Avoid using [].forEach. Use for-of instead.
  • for-in loops may only be used on dict-style objects and should not be used to iterate over an array.
  • Object.prototype.hasOwnProperty should be used in for-in loops to exclude unwanted prototype properties.
  • Prefer for-of and Object.keys over for-in when possible.
  • Each switch statement should include a default statement group, even if it contains no code.
  • Only use this in class constructors and methods, or in arrow functions defined within class constructors and methods.
  • Never use this to refer to the global object, the context of an eval, the target of an event, or unnecessarily call()ed or apply()ed functions.

Try-Catch

Avoid try-catch blocks, instead preferring to prevent an error from being thrown in the first place. When impossible to avoid, the try-catch block must include a comment that explains the specific error being caught and why it cannot be prevented.

RxJS

  • Suffix all public, internal, private and local Observables with $.
  • Omit the $ suffix for @Output streams.
  • Suffix subscriptions with Subscription
  • Make sure to always unsubscribe from observables (either by using async pipes, by calling unsubscribe or by using the "destroy subject pattern").

Symbol ordering in components/directives/services

For consistency and an easy way to find symbols in components, directives or services stick to the following ordering in the class.

This ordering also applies for classes in general, without the component specific fields.

  1. Inputs
  2. Outputs
  3. Public properties
  4. View/ContentChildren
  5. Internal properties
  6. Private properties
  7. Constructor
  8. Public methods
  9. Internal methods
  10. Private methods

For better readability when using getters/setters the associated private property should be placed directly after the setter instead of moving it down the class to the other privates.

@Input()
get disabled(): boolean {
  return this._disabled;
}
set disabled(value: boolean) {
  this._disabled = coerceBooleanProperty(value);
}
private _disabled: boolean;

Disallowed features

  • Do not use the with keyword. It makes your code harder to understand and has been banned in strict mode since ES5.
  • Do not use eval or the Function(...string) constructor. These features are potentially dangerous!
  • Do not use non-standard features. This includes old features that have been removed (e.g., WeakMap.clear), new features that are not yet standardized, or proprietary features that are only implemented in some browsers.
  • Never use new on the primitive object wrappers (Boolean, Number, String, Symbol), nor include them in type annotations.
  • Never modify builtin types, either by adding methods to their constructors or to their prototypes. Avoid depending on libraries that do this.
  • Do not add symbols to the global object unless absolutely necessary.

HTML

  • Avoid unnecessary complexity in your templates.
  • Avoid inline styles within templates. Add CSS classes to elements and add styling information to (S)CSS files.

Semantics

  • Use tags in a semantically correct way, e.g. a <button> element instead of a <span> for a part of the component that triggers some action.
  • Use HTML5 tags with semantic meaning (e.g. <nav>, <figure>,) instead of <div> or <span> when appropriate.
  • Don't use headline tags (h1 - h6) within component templates as you can't know where the component is actually used and what heading level would fit best. If you want to indicate something as headline, use role="heading" and let the consumer of the component set the aria-level via an @Input property.

Accessibility

Add appropriate ARIA attributes to elements to support assistive technologies in understanding the HTML structure and content without having any visual representation thereof.

CSS & SCSS

  • Prefer styling via class selectors / attribute selectors over id selectors.
  • Avoid styling Angular specific attributes like ng-reflect or nghost.

Classnames

  • Prefix all classnames with dt-<component-name> (i.e. dt-button-label) to avoid collisions and identify styling classes as part of the component library.
  • Use descriptive classnames that define what the element / style should represent rather than what it looks like. Avoid using colors or specific representational names in class names: Good: dt-tag, dt-tag-label, dt-tag-action
    Bad: dt-tag-gray, dt-tag-rounded-corners, dt-tag-margin-top-4
  • We do not follow a specific BEM or other naming convention.

SCSS specifics

  • Avoid using scss class nesting if it is not immediately required for specificity. Sass nesting does not necessarily need to follow html structure.
<div class="dt-tag">
  <span class="dt-tag-label">Label</span>
  <button class="dt-tag-action">X</button>
</div>

Good:

.dt-tag {
  background-color: $gray-400;
}

.dt-tag-label {
  font-size: 14px;
}

Bad:

.dt-tag {
  background-color: $gray-400;

  .dt-tag-label {
    font-size: 14px;
  }
}
  • Do not use @extend as it modfies the original instance, which bloats the selectors and the resulting files.
  • Do not use & to concatenate selector-names, this will make it almost impossible to find the class dt-tag-label in the source code.

Bad:

.dt-tag {
  background-color: $gray-400;

  &-label {
    font-size: 14px;
  }
}