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A topic anyone who’s known my programming style for a while knows that this is one of my pet peeves. Why can’t people use understandable variable names?

I just got though producing a set of constants for FIX message types and fields. I hate abbreviations that come from outside the problem domain, i.e. that an end user wouldn’t understand. I hate abbreviations in general, but specifically for “number” because there’s three different common ones in use. FIX uses two of them, with no clear reason for the difference.

In the world of finance, “FX” is a reasonable abbreviation to use in names, because the end users understand what it means. In FIX, there’s a field called “DKReason”; care to guess what “DK” stands for? If you said you “don’t know”, you’re correct. Yes, it literally stands for “don’t know”. The description for the field is “Reason for execution rejection.”, but if you’re reading through unfamiliar code and see “DKReason”, how the hell are you expected to understand the significance without hours of digging?

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