[TUHS] Comments in early Unix systems

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Thu Mar 22 11:27:20 AEST 2018

On Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 07:58:11PM -0500, Andy Kosela wrote:
> They also state: "Comments are meant to help the reader of a program.  They
> do not help by saying things the code already plainly says, or by
> contradicting the code, or by distracting the reader with elaborate
> typographical displays.  The best comments aid the understanding of a
> program by briefly pointing out salient details or by providing a
> larger-scale view of the proceedings."

I so agree with this.  Verbose comments suck.  Too many comments suck.
Why?  Because the code evolves and it's work to evolve the comments
as well.  Too many comments means they are not maintained and they 
become incorrect.

I *HATE* comments that are not correct, hate that so much that if you did
that we would talk, if you kept doing that, you are fired.  No comments
are MUCH better than incorrect comments.

Terseness in comments is good.  Comment where it is not obvious what
is going on.  And maintain the comments like you maintain the code.

I agree with Dan (I think) that coding is still a craft and getting the
comments right is one of the hardest things to master (and I agree that
Unix did it pretty darn well).  No comments suck, too much sucks, just
right is so darn pleasant.


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