Discouraging use of the var keyword and ternary if operator

I would always favour typing more code to make it more explicit, more readable and to ensure consistency in style throughout a software system. Minimising the bytes and lines needed to do something shouldn’t take preference over readability. My two pet hates in this regard are the var keyword and ternary (?) if operator.

I know var is just syntactical sugar and everything is still type safe, but for me it just moves C# in the direction of a non type safe language at least in regard to syntax style and personally I just don’t like using it. I spoke to another developer about it recently and he was very dogmatic that it is a good thing as its shorter and more concise. I agree in some instances that that can certainly be the case but because it’s not appropriate for all declarations such as:

var myVariable = System.IO.File.Open("test.txt", FileMode.Create);


var id = GetId();

it means a developer will either a) use var everywhere including in statements like the above where the type is in fact not obvious or b) use explicit declarations for statements like above and use var declarations for statements such as:

var names = new List<string>();

which means you either have many instances of variable declarations which are hard to understand or inconsistent coding style. If var is used at all another developer will no doubt come along and use it inappropriately so I prefer to discourage its use.

As far as ternary operator (?) ifs are concerned, again I prefer not to use them. I’d rather just use a standard multi-line if through the whole system, this way everything is explicit and the judgement call of whether the use of ? actually makes a particular if statement easier to understand or not is eliminated. I mean for simple expressions they can be neat but the problem is that in a team environment the precedent set by using them at all results in their overuse by less skilled developers. For example it definitely wouldn’t surprise me to see statements like the below:

int a = b > 10 ? c < 20 ? 50 : 80 : e == 2 ? 4 : 8;

pop up in a code base which has instances of ? already for simple expressions. Again then for reasons related to removing ambiguity about the appropriateness or not of its use, I discourage writing if statements with the ternary operator.

Code is read much more than its written so don’t save a couple of seconds using c# shorthand when writing it if it’s possible this will slow down those maintaining it.