[erlang-questions] Style wars: junk comments
Wed Sep 12 10:42:08 CEST 2012
If you expect your code to be read/reviewed when printed, you should
have the functions alphabetically ordered.
Grouping exported/internal functions also help the reviewers.
On Wed, 2012-09-12 at 10:26 +0200, Daniel Eliasson wrote:
> I've seen comments beginning with %%%_* that I believe are used as a
> tag for some kind of text folding mode in Emacs.
> I also don't get why people wouldn't sort their export lists alphabetically.
> On 12 September 2012 09:56, Richard O'Keefe <> wrote:
> > I was looking at some Erlang code today,
> > and it had comments like
> > % Include files
> > % External exports
> > % Internal exports
> > % Macros
> > % Records
> > % External functions
> > % Internal functions
> > only bulked up, and present even when the sections were empty.
> > I take the definition of a "junk comment" to be
> > "a comment that repeats something immediately obvious
> > from the adjacent code".
> > I can tell
> > an include because it starts with -include
> > an export because it starts with -export
> > a macro because it starts with -defined
> > a record because it starts with -record
> > a function because it does not start with -
> > so most of these are technically junk comments.
> > In fact they remind most unpleasantly of COBOL (IDENTIFICATION
> > DIVISION, DATA DIVISION, PROCEDURE DIVISION) and Classic Pascal's
> > rigid (label; const; type; var; procedure; begin) ordering.
> > In fact this ordering strikes me as pernicious in a very very
> > similar way. Suppose for example I have a sliding window module
> > in which there is
> > %------------------------
> > % Purging
> > %------------------------
> > purge(Window) -> ...
> > and this function uses a number of helper functions and macros
> > that are not used in other parts of the file. I want to put
> > them *here*, close by the function(s) needing them, not to rip
> > them away from their context just because some boilerplate comment
> > says so.
> > In fact I had been thinking about proposing a conventional use
> > of an attribute:
> > -section(creating).
> > -section(adding).
> > -section(purging).
> > -section(testing).
> > -section(formatting).
> > This is something that is already allowed by Erlang syntax, so there
> > is no actual language change. The proposal is to use _this_ attribute
> > for _this_ purpose: *semantic* sectioning.
> > Yes, the debt to the Smalltalk 4-pane browser and its "method
> > categories" *is* pretty obvious, isn't it?
> > The function of the -section attribute is to provide something a
> > text editor can set automatic bookmarks from or at least let you
> > search for, that _cannot_ be trivially determined from the source
> > code.
> > Have I missed an important benefit of the rigid syntactic ordering?
> > While I'm at it, why don't other people sort their export lists into
> > alphabetic order?
> > function and its supporte
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