Re: Source Code Documentation

Subject: Re: Source Code Documentation
From: iluvvscotties -at- earthlink -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001 12:59:32 -0400

One other caveat which I'm not sure has been mentioned ...

It is human nature for developers to love powerful shortcuts -- e.g., one line of code rather than an entire page. Unfortunately, however, this sort of programming is usually *MUCH* less intuitive than the lengthier alternative, and often entails functions/commands with which most programmers are not familiar.
I think that it was one of Alan Zenreich's books which stressed the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule, and mentioned a professor who graded a student's code with "Very impressive and imaginative ... -15".

Since few programmers will be familiar with this type of coding (and it will probably be difficult to find in manuals, etc.), it is imperative that it be clearly documented in case some poor soul has to modify it at a later date.

If you're familiar with the programming language, this is comparatively easy to do. If not, perhaps you could show it to a few programmers/developers and ask them if they recognize any unique or unfamiliar techniques. (Most developers *LOVE* the opportunity to look at other people's code. If any proprietary information is involved, you could restrict this to company employees, run it past the head honcho, etc.) If any turn up, you can ask the programmer who wrote the code for a reasonable description for posterity.

Just remember that the main purpose of source code documentation is to ensure that the code can be modified, enhanced, and/or corrected at a later date, at which time the original programmer(s) may be long gone, the programmer assigned to fix it may not even know the language (alas, this happens all too often) -- and, if enough time has passed, there may not even be any available manuals or books on the subject. It is therefore imperative that unique, esoteric techniques be very clearly described.


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems Available 4/30/01 at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by DigiPub Solutions Corp, producers of PDF 2001 Conference East, June 4-6, Baltimore, MD. Now covering Acrobat 5. Early registration deadline April 27.
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Conference Proceedings
Next by Author: RE: TECHWR-L Conference
Previous by Thread: Re: Source Code Documentation
Next by Thread: As explained in the next section?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads