Coding Guidelines for C# 3.0 and C# 4.0 now available

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As promised earlier, you can now download the concept version of my new Coding Guidelines for C# 3.0 and C# 4.0 from a dedicated CodePlex site at The list of changes is quite big, and includes new guidelines covering object-oriented design, design principles, C# 4.0 and the smells and heuristics from Robert C. Martin’s book Clean Code. I’ve also removed many guidelines that have become obsolete or deal with situations that rarely occur. And the entire document has become much easier to read because I’ve changed to a less formal writing style.

A common question I receive regularly is how to introduce coding guidelines or coding standards into a team or organization, so I’ve adapted my April post on Coding Guidelines and included it into the document. Another question I get asked commonly is what to do if something is not covered by the document. For this, I’ve included my most favorite design principles that should help you determine when something is valid or not.

Similarly to the quick reference guide for the C# 3.0 version of the document, I’ve included a two-page A4-sized cheat sheet with the most important guidelines and some handy tables on naming, ordering and layout.

And finally, Jonne Kats and I started creating a set of FxCop and StyleCop rules that verify your code against some of the guidelines in this document. It’s a side project, so it may take a while before a first release will be made available. In the mean time, check out the source code repository regularly.

And last but not least, this document has not been cut in stone. So if you have remarks, comments, additions or complaints, just let me know. I’ve already received valuable feedback from the community and will continue to update the document whenever something useful comes to my attention.

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