C++ Identifiers

In C++, an identifier is a name given to a variable, function, class, or other user-defined item. Identifiers are used to represent data or instructions in a program, and they follow certain rules and conventions.

Naming Rules:

  1. Identifiers can contain letters (both uppercase and lowercase), digits, and underscore characters.
  2. The first character must be a letter or an underscore.
  3. Identifiers are case-sensitive, meaning that “var1” and “Var1” are different identifiers.
  4. Identifiers can be of any length.

Naming Conventions:

  1. Use meaningful and descriptive names for identifiers to make the code more readable.
  2. Use camelCase notation for variable and function names, with the first word in lowercase and the first letter of each subsequent word in uppercase.
  3. Use PascalCase notation for class names, with the first letter of each word in uppercase.
  4. Avoid using underscores in identifier names unless it is necessary for clarity.

Reserved Keywords: Some words are reserved as keywords in C++ and cannot be used as identifiers. Examples of reserved keywords include “if,” “else,” “while,” “int,” “float,” and “class.”

Best Practices:

  1. Avoid using names that are too similar to existing names in the program to prevent confusion.
  2. Use a consistent naming convention throughout the program.
  3. Avoid abbreviations or shortened names that may not be easily understood by others.
  4. Use comments to explain the purpose of more complex identifiers or functions.

Here is an example of C++ identifiers and their explanation:

int age = 25;
float account_balance = 1000.50;
string first_name = "John";
bool is_student = true;

class Person {
    string name;
    int age;
    void set_name(string n) {
      name = n;
    string get_name() {
      return name;

In this example, we have several identifiers:

  • age, account_balance, first_name, and is_student are variable identifiers that store different types of data (integer, float, string, and boolean).
  • Person is a class identifier that defines a class with two private member variables (name and age) and two public member functions (set_name and get_name).
  • name and age are member variable identifiers that belong to the Person class.

The variable identifiers follow camelCase naming convention, while the class identifier follows PascalCase convention. The member variable identifiers are named similarly to the class identifier, but in lowercase to distinguish them.

Reserved keywords like int, float, string, bool, class, private, and public are used in the program, but they are not used as identifiers.

By using meaningful and descriptive names for identifiers and following consistent naming conventions, the code becomes more readable and easier to understand. The use of comments also helps to explain the purpose of more complex identifiers and functions.

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