34.4 Variable naming

The recommended variable naming is to follow C/C++ naming conventions, in which variables are lowercase, with the underscore character (_) used as a separator. Thus it is preferred to use sigma_y, rather than the run together sigmay, camel-case sigmaY, or capitalized camel-case SigmaY. An exception is often made for terms appearing in mathematical expressions with standard names, like A for a matrix.

Another exception to the lowercasing recommendation, which follows the C/C++ conventions, is for size constants, for which the recommended form is a single uppercase letter. The reason for this is that it allows the loop variables to match. So loops over the indices of an \(M \times N\) matrix \(a\) would look as follows.

for (m in 1:M) {
  for (n in 1:N) {
     a[m, n] = ...
  }
}