Coding style


Comments must be only in english. Each complicated code should be explained with comments. This rules are design for Java and Php and must be respected as much as possible for other languages.

Files headers

The date must be in the “DD MM YYYY” English format (e.g “27 Aug. 2018”).

//                                ${nameAndExt}
// Copyright © INRA ${date?date?string("yyyy")}
// Creation date: ${date}
// Contact: ${userEmail},,

Right margin

A right margin has to be set to avoid too large code files that force the contributor to scroll horizontally to see the end of a line.

For the project, the margin is set to 120 pixels. It can be configured in your IDE to show a line that indicates the margin (here for Netbeans).


 * DAO mother class.
 * Provides generic functions to query the storage.
 * Comments begins with a capital letter and ends with a dot.
 * The @author tag designates the main contributors of the class. A contributor that
 * updates the class won't be considered as an @author. The case of a reworked class will be discussed.
 * @update [Arnaud Charleroy] 4 Sept. 2018: explanation.
 * @update [Morgane Vidal, Andréas Garcia] 18 Sept. 2018: explanation.
 * @see optional link to class or website that helps the comprehension of the class.
 * @param <T> the type of object handled.
 * @author Morgane Vidal <>, Arnaud Charleroy <>
 public class UriGenerator {

    * Comment which explains the complexeAttribute purpose.
    * @example possible value for this attribute without parenthesis.
   private String complexeAttribute;

   // Comment which explains the simpleAttribute purpose with an example if needed.
   private String simpleAttribute;


Besides simple getters and setters, all functions declaration must be documented as follows:

  * Generates a new vector URI. A vector URI follows this pattern:
  * <prefix>:<year>/<unic_code>
  * <unic_code> = 1 letter type + 2 numbers year + auto incremented number
  * with 3 digits (per year).
  * Functions comment generally starts with a verb in the third person.
  * @error the error message possible or what happends if an error occured.
  * @example
  * @example
  * SELECT ?uri
  * WHERE {
  *     ?uri rdf:type <>   
  * }
  * @param year the insertion year of the vector.
  * @return the new vector URI.
  public String generateVectorUri(String year) {

If the function returns a boolean, the @return tag should be presented as follows:

  * @return true explanation
  *         false explanation

Function names must be meaningful. The name must specify the exact action of the function and for most cases must start with a verb. (e.g. createPasswordHash).

Blank Lines

Two blank lines should only be used in the following circumstances:

One blank line should only be used in the following circumstances:

 * Comment.
public interface MyInterface {
    Boolean isEmptyMethod();

 * Comment.
class Sample extends Object {
    int ivar1;
    int ivar2;

    Sample(int i, int j) {
        int k;

        i = k;

        /* Comment. */
        ivar1 = i;
        ivar2 = j;     

    int emptyMethod() {}

    Boolean isEmptyMethod() {}

Blank Spaces

Blank spaces should be used in the following circumstances:

if (expression) {

for (expression) {

while (expression) {

Note that a blank space should not be used between a method name and its opening parenthesis. This helps to distinguish keywords from method calls.


Variables, constants, classes, packages naming

Follow the coding global best practices of the language. See for instance this article or The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert Martin .


We are using SILEX tags to highlight some code blocks or add some additional information.

List of the actual existing tags:

Used in the PHIS main client, to highlight the temporary login blocks of code.

Used in the main client css to highlight the automatic add of red asterisk on the required fields of the forms.

Used to highlight the places where we should add the geographic location.

Used to highlight the places where the access rights are applied

Used to highlight a test code block.

Used to highlight a block whom code design / architecture should be review or add ideas about.

Code to write, explained in simple words.

Information about a block of code or an idea or something complicated.

Code about an SQL query

Code which needs to be refactored