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Re: Should I leave behind beautiful code or readable code?

by jcoxen (Deacon)
on Mar 28, 2007 at 15:01 UTC ( #607040=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Should I leave behind beautiful code or readable code?

If you're that worried about your replacement not being able to understand your code, either change the code or comment the bejesus out of it. Or more accurately, change the code or not as you see fit AND comment the bejesus out of it.

My own preference is toward simpler to understand rather than 'elegant' code - mostly because I'm only a casual programmer. Still, with sufficient comments (and a couple of reference books) I've always been able to understand what's going on in a piece of code. You can be as elegant / beautiful / complex / obtuse as you want to be IF you have sufficient comments in your code to make clear what you're doing.


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Re^2: Should I leave behind beautiful code or readable code?
by robot_tourist (Hermit) on Mar 29, 2007 at 12:03 UTC

    Comments are good. Do not avoid commenting. BUT... as another reply pointed out, comments have to be maintained as well. I like putting in javadoc-style comments, but I've encountered loads of places where it looks like someone has copied and pasted a function and somehow the comment block at the top describes something totally different from the actual procedure. And I will admit that I just left the erroneous comments as they were in most cases. The goal then is for code that is self-documenting and as far as possible only commenting on data structures, on side effects and any assumptions made about incoming data. In the OP's case, I didn't think the example was too bad and I think splitting it up too much could make it look more complicated and scary than it is.

    How can you feel when you're made of steel? I am made of steel. I am the Robot Tourist.
    Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson

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