[Pharo-users] On Class and Method comments
jlhouchin at gmail.com
Tue May 17 11:32:38 EDT 2016
On 05/17/2016 01:40 AM, Peter Uhnák wrote:
> As a note, maybe try to avoid inline comments unless formatter is
> fixed, because autoformatting _will_ misplace them. (Not to mention
> that imho inline comments in Smalltalk are a result of a bad design…
> if you need an inline comment, maybe turn that into actual code).
I disagree with the comment about inline comments being bad design. At
least as a broadly applied as the above was.
Comments often say "Why" we did something. Code says "How" or "What" we
are doing. I have encountered many times where if I did not have a
comment for the "Why". Then at a later date when I don't remember the
"Why". I encounter code that looks strange and I am tempted to refactor
and consequently would introduce bugs.
Right now I am working on parsing a bunch of xml files. Third party data
sources. There is ugliness in the world. I have to clean the ugliness in
order to be able to parse the files. There is no option if I want to do
this. I have no control over the sources. I am not interested in
engaging outside bureaucratic policies and people in order to change
their procedures and policies so that I can have better sources. How
often would I be willing to fight this losing battle.
The only solution is to do ugly things, for good reasons and comment
them well. So that I know not just what I did, but why.
I also believe there is some conflicting policy in the code critic or
whatever is telling me my method is too long.
I have frequently written methods that had a few temp vars with nice
informative names. and the method is involved enough to use these vars
multiple times. I get this nice information informing me my method is
long. Or in Pharo4 going yellow and then red. :)
However many times if I made these vars short, like x, y, z. Then the
method is a perfectly fine length. Ugh. I am then being punished for
length of names. I have seen this a lot.
> In any case, there are no guidelines afaik… otherwise we would have
> comments everywhere already. :)
Not necessarily. People are busy. Sometimes getting working code out is
more important than commenting it well.
For example. And I am not saying this is true. It is simply and example.
While pressure is mounting to release Pharo 5. The few over worked
people involved in that final process. Finishing up the final things,
might be pragmatic and let working code go without comments. Or in some
similar situation by a code contributor.
Then their are people like myself and Dimitris who might not feel
confident in submitting comments for some of these areas without
appropriate guidelines. We want to improve the situation not make bad
examples of what not to do. :)
Just some of my opinions.
> Perhaps one thing regarding class comments: There was a push to use
> PIllar there if you need formatting, but I am not sure what is the
> current status of that.
> On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12:04 AM, Dimitris Chloupis
> <kilon.alios at gmail.com <mailto:kilon.alios at gmail.com>> wrote:
> I really like to start writing some class and method comments to
> make Pharo image more beginner friendly. Are there any guidelines
> when and how to comment classes and methods ? What about inline
> comments ?
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