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Re: Commenting One's Code In A GNU/GPL/OpenSource World

by ilcylic (Scribe)
on Mar 31, 2002 at 20:13 UTC ( #155646=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Commenting One's Code In A GNU/GPL/OpenSource World

I'm afraid I also have to disagree. I can concur with the idea of what you are trying to say, and once again, this is a "perfect world" scenario, but unfortunately, we don't live in one.

My main source fro disagreement is that time is a real world resource. From a purely utilitarian point of view, the less time people have to spend deciphering complex code, the more time they can spend writing improvements to that code. A broad and overarching way to look at Open Source is that we're all working towards the goal of having better computers to work with, and the sooner we get the gigatons of code that need to be written written, so much the better.

If everyone had the same coding style, (and realistically, if everyone was a great perl coder), there wouldn't be a need for comments, because not only would people be able to read the code like it was a natural language, but it would have been written by someone who wasn't a grammatic moron. A lot of the code I have ended up having to work on felt like I was trying to read a book which was written by someone who didn't really speak the language. A "Translation", so to speak, into a language which both the original author, and myself, were more fluent in, would have sped up both the process of my understanding what had originally be written, and likewise, my changes and additions to the code.

This would, of course, have left me with more time to work on other things. It's a pretty Randian viewpoint on things, But I think it makes at least some sense. I agree that providing the less experienced with material to study for improvement of their skills is important, but there are reasons that programming language textbooks have paragraphs in english (or whatever) and not just code.

-Il Cylic

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