Some quick notes about what to consider when contributing to SuperCollider’s code base. The following really only applies to the C/C++ sources of scsynth and sclang (somebody please add notes for SC sources!).


  • Older code uses tabs for indentaion.
  • Newer code often uses 4 spaces (sometimes only 2 spaces).

When modifying existing code, always make sure you use the same indentation style as the rest of the file.


In general identifiers are in camel case (with some exceptions, see below):

double thisIsAVariable;
double andThisIsAnother;

Global variables are often prefixed with g:

InterfaceTable* gInterfaceTable;

Constants are prefixed with k:


Functions operating on a certain structure type are often prefixed with the name of that type, followed by an underscore:

World* World_New(WorldOptions *inOptions);
void   Node_SendTrigger(Node* inNode, int triggerID, float value);

Classes of general utility and used in both scsynth and sclang are sometimes prefixed with SC_.

class SC_SyncCondition;

Method names more often than not begin with an upper case character.


Class and struct members are usually prefixed with m followed by an upper case character, or m_ followed by a lower case character, the rest of the identifier being in camel case:

size_t mOffset;
double m_prevInput;

Conventions particular to sclang

Structures in sclang are often prefixed with Pyr:


Notes for UGen writers

The naming for UGens has fairly strict conventions, because SC’s macros connect the function/struct names with the names used by a user. A UGen usually has a struct associated with it, which should take the same name as the corresponding sclang class (which implies it begins with a capital letter).

struct SinOsc : Unit { ... };

In general the associated methods’ names should begin with that name too: the constructor must take that name followed by _Ctor and the destructor (if used) must take that name followed by _Dtor.

void SinOsc_Ctor(SinOsc *unit);

The DSP functions should take that name followed by _next, plus more text to distinguish the different DSP functions from each other as needed; e.g. audio-rate is postfixed by _a and control-rate is postfixed by _k. These postfixes might stack up for several parameter/rate combinations:

void SinOsc_next_iak(SinOsc *unit, int inNumSamples);

Private methods within the plugin files don’t have to follow strict naming but it is recommended to prefix them in a similar fashion, to identify the UGen(s) with which they belong.