http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=879628


in reply to Re^4: On comments
in thread On comments

There is no "heat" here. This debate will go on--for both of us, and every programmer--long after we've stopped talking. We, just as all those on opposing sides of the debate will simply have to agree to differ.

Remember, I'm not asking you to make the code clearer; I'm asking you to make the context clearer. What's the best way to do that?

That question presupposes that what you've said in the preceding two paragraphs is important to the ongoing maintenance of the code. And that is where we will have to agree to differ.

I don't want to make too much of your example, as your efforts were obviously a labour of love, but IMO there are about 7 or 8 significant comments in there. But, due to (what I consider to be), the morass of unnecessary, irrelevant or downright misleading thoughts, feelings, opinions and speculations--not just duplicating what is clear from the code, but often triplicating or even quadruplicating it once you consider the block comments; inline comments and interleaved POD documentation--it is neigh impossible to pick out those important ones from that morass.

Were I ever to attempt to modify that program--and I might because although I rarely use the debugger, it is useful now and again, but is completely broken in 5.10 on my platform--I would strip all the comments so that I could see the code. I would retain an original and feed any changes I made back into it if I was considering submitting a patch.

But, for me, the very essence of the coders art is the code. And, IMO, trying to read the code when it is so thoroughly concealed in untested & unverified--indeed, untestable & unverifiable--prose, is like trying to study the stars from the middle of a major city. There is just so much extraneous noise that it completely swamps what is actually important.


Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.