Don't put time units in Duration variables


ID: go-best-practices/duration-variable-names

Language: Go

Severity: Info

Category: Best Practices


In Go, the time.Duration type represents a duration of time. It is an integer or float type that represents the length of a duration in units such as seconds, milliseconds, or nanoseconds.

When working with time.Duration variables in Go, it is important to note that the type itself already represents a duration with a specific unit. The unit of the duration is determined by the context in which it is used. Therefore, it is not necessary to explicitly include the unit in the variable name or identifier.

Here are a few reasons why we should avoid using time units in variable names for Go’s time.Duration type:

  1. Clarity and readability: By not including time units in the variable name, the code becomes more concise, clear, and easier to read. This is because the time.Duration type already implies that the value represents a duration.
  2. Flexibility and reusability: By not tying the variable to a specific unit, it becomes more flexible and reusable. For example, if a variable is named retryTimeout instead of retryTimeoutSeconds, it can be easily changed to represent a different unit (e.g., milliseconds) without affecting the variable name.
  3. Consistency with standard library: Go’s standard library, including the time package, follows the convention of using the type name (Duration) without including time units in variable names. By following this convention, our code aligns better with the standard library and promotes code consistency.

To ensure good coding practices, it is recommended to name Go time.Duration variables in a descriptive and context-specific manner without explicitly mentioning the time unit in the variable name. This approach leads to clear and maintainable code.

Non-Compliant Code Examples

func main () {
    var foo time.Duration
    var xms time.Duration
    var xy, xms time.Duration
    var blaMs time.Duration

    xms := 5 * time.Second
    xms := 5 * time.Millisecond

Compliant Code Examples

func main () {
    var fooDuration time.Duration
    timeToWait := 5 * time.Second
} jetbrains

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