Coding Guidelines

This page lists the CORAL coding guidelines. It’s shared between all modules, so these rules apply for all of them.

Naming standards

If you would like to contribute code / database changes to the project it is recommended that you stay within the following naming conventions.

Database Naming:

  • Attribute and entity names in singular form and using present tense
  • Entity names are uppercased with no spaces or underscores between words (camel case)
  • Attribute names have first word lower cased, subsequent words have first letter upper case
    • e.g. documentID, sentDate, documentText
  • Primary keys are always Auto Incrementing Integers beginning with the table name and ‘ID’ suffix
    • e.g. for the “Document” table, “documentID” is the name of the primary key
    • (note that the generic database object expects this naming convention – if you do not use this name, you must override the primary key name in the class)
  • When possible, attribute names are suffixed with class words
    • Code - Has a list of possible values e.g. INV, ENC
    • ShortName - Name
    • Identifier (ID) - Unique Identifier, generally surrogate key
    • Number - Numeric value
    • Indicator (Ind) - A Boolean value (0/1)
    • Date - Date
    • DateTime - Date and time stamp


  • Refer to previous sections for directory structure, script locations and script naming.
  • Variable, class and attribute names mimic the database standards with camel case.
  • Method names are prefixed with:
    • Is – Answers a question, returns true/false, e.g. for User class isAdmin() method
    • Get – retrieves a value
    • Set – sets a value

Issues & Pull requests

Any pull request must be related to an issue. In the 1st line of the commit message, please add “(issue #nnn)” at the beginning of the message. For example : “(issue #23) Fixes this and that”. Ideally, the message is the same as the title of the issue.

Database update

When a patch is submitted that requires a DB change, the changes must be provided in a separate SQL file. When merged into the master repository, the DB change file is appended to the update_NEXT.sql file by the merger. before releasing a new version, the update_NEXT.sql file will be renamed to update_.sql Translating

For the translation you must think to use the next syntax to help the translation will be more easy:

For the code PHP: _(“string PHP to traslate”)

If you want translate the string “Hello”, you can do this:

For the code JavaScript: _(“string JavaScript to translate”)

Example: alert(_(“There are some errors”));