[SATLUG] Re: culture question (Bruce Dubbs)

Jason Meridth jmeridth at gmail.com
Thu Aug 28 12:34:20 CDT 2008

Prefix to your comments:
I do Test Driven Development (TDD).  I let me tests comment my code.
Another developer can easily run my tests and see what the code is doing.
Once in the source my method names say what they do (comment below about
Bruce's 12 character limit)

Bruce, I respect your experience and your position.  Your response bothered

> So you are a genius and understand all code in all domains without
> comments.
> Go take a look at the code for gzip and try to understand the compression
> methods without comments.

Don't put words in my mouth Bruce.  I never said I was a genius.  Don't be a
jerk.  Notice, the prefix "In my opinion".

> > Code is organic
> What does this mean?

Code changes a lot.  Especially when you refactor your code based off new
features/defects/requirements.  Common sense.

> It depends on the culture.  I've seen a lot of bad code.  If the code is
> bad,
> then the comments really don't matter.  If the code is good, then there are
> probably enough comments to provide an outline.

Thank you for re-iterating what I say below this.

> But how long are the names that you use?  Efficient comprehension means
> that you
> should use tokens that are meaningful, but less than about 12 characters.
>  This
> is backed by research.

Can you provide link to the research please.  We're not coding on 512K RAM
PCs anymore.  You don't have to limit your method names.  Please don't give
me the "waste of resources" speech.  I'm sick and tired of hearing about
geriatric ways of coding.  It's one of the many reasons I leave this mailing
list on and off.  I love the group, but the backlash when a younger person
comes in and expresses ideas, and gets slammed, is unprofessional and
non-conducive to a non-profit user group.

There is no such thing as a silver bullet.  If the team agrees on comments,
so be it.  I can prove that you don't need them to make successful,
maintainable code.

> Factoring of code is useful, just like comments.  If a programmer is too
> lazy to
> add comments, then they are probably too lazy to factor code.  They
> probably
> just cut and paste similar code and make minor changes.  Of course they are
> poor
> programmers.

Your lazy comment is also a stab.  When a board member responds like this,
it's shows what the higher membership of the group contains.

> To answer the original question: elegant code is one where a software
> > developer doesn't have to read comments to understand the code,
> Baloney.  The comments are a part of the code.  An important part.

Unit testing is more important and with it, comments are not necessary (IN
MY EXPERIENCE, I'll start putting this after every opinionated statement).

Expression of opinion on this group sucks.  When a board member responds
like this...  come on and have a mature conversation.  Next time, I'll just
submit a summary of my experience.

> You have to understand that thee are at least two audiences when you write
> code.
>  The first is the compiler.  The code has to be syntactically correct.  The
> second is the maintenance programmer.  That maintenance programmer may be
> you
> months or years in the future or someone else that has never looked at your
> code
> before.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Code as if the guy who is going to maintain
your code is a psychopath and knows where you live."  I live by it.

> Having the attitude if *I* can read it, then anyone can is rather egotistic
> and
> usually wrong.

Are you calling me egotistical?  That is not the attitude I was trying to
convey.  Maybe a SATLUG meeting on coding standards??  Ultimately they are
decided by the team, but global standards can be discussed.

> There are whole books written about programming style and I've never seen
> one
> advocate that comments aren't important.  They are an important tool, just
> like
> whitespace, naming conventions, and factoring.

What are the copyright dates on the books?

>   -- Bruce
> ******************

Jason Meridth
"There is no spoon"

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