Guidlines for script authors

This section documents the coding style used in GoboLinux shell scripts.

It’s important to note that not all scripts follow these guidelines, because of historical baggage (some of the scripts are older than GoboLinux itself). Patches to correct the non-conformities are welcome.

Indentation and block organization

A few rules of thumb:

  • Three spaces for indentation. Avoid joining do and then in the same line with ;, instead put it on a line by itself, aligned with for, while or if.
  • Prefer using if rather than idioms like && { }, but apply your common sense.
  • Be generous in you use of quotes whenever referring or defining variables, and the ${x} syntax when merging variables inside strings.
  • Bear in mind that esac is ridiculous.
  • When doing weird stuff such as functional-like programming with eval, hide it in a pretty function to pretend it is a bit more readable. Eventually we might make a Functional module. By now, Map() is defined in the Array module.

It’s hard to believe, but the only shell module containing GoboLinux-specific stuff is the one aptly called GoboLinux. Keep that in mind when submitting functions for inclusion in one of the modules.


The idea in the naming convention is to orthogonally describe scope and purpose of each name. We define “local scope” as names that are specific to a given script, and “library scope” as names defined in Scripts modules such as GoboPath, ScriptFunctions or one of the imported function modules.

These are the guidelines:

  • Function names have underscores between words

Example: local_function, Library_Function

  • Variable names do not, they’re just connected

Example: localvariable, LibraryVariable

  • Library names (for functions and variables) have capital letters

Example: Library_Function, LibraryVariable

  • Local names (for functions and variables) are in all-lowercase

Example: local_function, localvariable

  • All-upercase variables are reserved for standard Unix usage


  • Configuration variables used in .conf files start with the script name in lowercase, resulting in a case style similar to that used in Java variables

Example: compileRecipeDirs, editKeymapLayout