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Re: A forget-me-not to remind me to remember not to forget

by ww (Archbishop)
on Nov 27, 2007 at 13:17 UTC ( #653211=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to A forget-me-not to remind me to remember not to forget

  • POD
    ...and when I'm on good behavior, that means a fairly extensive pod, with caveats, gotchas, and usage examples, if the script has more than a very few options. (Sometimes I have the feeling that many script writers carry over their key-stroke saving practices, as used within a script, to the documentation, where such terseness can be a significant obstacle for the "future user.")
  • a useage sub or block called when required arguments are not present or when user adds (any of) ?help, /h, /help, etc
  • in line comments on any code I find "tricky"
    ...for which the maintenance programmer's or future user's mileage may vary

The last is sometimes disparaged, as "inelegant" or even "inept" but like your Cobol options, IMO such comments are worth enough (even for the current writer, 6 months later) to discount the disfavor they earn with some people, as not all prospective maintainers/users will know the meanings as you do.

  • Comment on Re: A forget-me-not to remind me to remember not to forget

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Re^2: A forget-me-not to remind me to remember not to forget
by samizdat (Vicar) on Nov 28, 2007 at 13:51 UTC
    Indeed, ww. I retain enough of my assembly language background that I often keep up a running commentary alongside my code. I find that if I keep the hashmarks lined up, it doesn't detract from my ability to read just the code.

    My desire to add these comments, some of which help and some of which are just a PITA distraction, does often conflict with coding standards that say that thou shalt line-wrap at 78. Then again, I don't often use camelCase, either... ;-]

    For me, generally, the utility of the commentary outweighs the need to tidy it up every time I edit, because -- as in education -- if you can explain something well you understand it better. I find that switching back and forth from programming language to English language gives me time to consider what I'm doing. It's especially useful to go back and add comments with a cup of coffee after a late-night flow session where I've added a whole bunch of new code.

    I'm still looking for the syntax highlighter or literate programming editor that'll let me selectively choose either just code, just comments, or both, but until I find it, I'll keep my left-right code and commentary style.

    Of course, I'm also the guy who says that two-finger typing helps me write better code because I have time to think between pecks... ;-D

    Don Wilde
    "There's more than one level to any answer."

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