Re: Code Documentation

Subject: Re: Code Documentation
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 1998 09:20:03 -0500

Absolutely! A good programmer can pick out what a decent (meaning not too
clever, convoluted, or just plain badly written) chunk of code does rather
quickly. Source code in a high-level language is a very clear form of
communication for those who understand it. But the relationships between the
chunks can take forever. And in object-oriented code (which is most of the
code written lately) those relationships are the key.

There are few things as annoying, when reading code left behind by the last
programmer, as line after line of documentation that restates what the code
says, but never mentions why the code is there in the first place, or how it
fits in the grand scheme of things.

Side note on the example: the rather copious use of the word "instantiate"
is a case of knowing the audience. For programmers, there is nothing at all
wrong with the word, and it is the right word. At this point in a program,
there is typically a lot of instantiating going on, so the word gets used a
lot. You could do a "sportscaster" on it, but that would take a long time to
write and annoy the reader.

mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
nax -at- execpc -dot- com

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