A fundamental property of good software is that it is easy to change it, which means that it is easy to understand the code. A code smell is a surface indication that usually corresponds to a deeper problem in the system. It has a good example of a "WHY" comment as follows. Posted by 3 years ago. But give it a descriptive name. Is it a bug? WHY comments highlighting reasoning are valuable. And with readable I mean to read it out loud in front of an audience (e.g. Please … Press J to jump to the feed. Copyright (C) 2019 Shotgun Surgery. Share and discover the latest news about the PHP ecosystem and its community. Here is a list of some of the most important smells. What about me? Remember, only stop writing comments in favour of an alternative approach. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts . Well, I dunno. Powered by Invision Community. There is no need to write functions with many lines of code to make the compiling more efficient or save stack space, modern compilers will optimize that out again. Is it a bugfix? Comments represent a failure to express an idea in the code. I am sometimes asked about my position on code comments, and, like most things, I have strong opinions about it. So what’s the answer? Mark Bernstein responded to the code smells exercise with many good observations, including: The first smell is the comment; if part of the code needs explanation, it can be explained by making it a method. What does that mean? I see a lot of projects with Doxygen comments in it, but the actual content of that documentation is rather unhelpful. Don’t just stop writing comments; they are better than nothing. I remember having conversations about comments being a code smell many times in the past. The term was popularised by Kent Beck on WardsWiki in the late 1990s. 20. This belief typically comes from the fact that comments can become stale (out of date) and can be difficult to maintain. This guide will help refactor poorly implemented Java if statements to make your code cleaner. As usual, for any question worth asking, the answer is - it depends. 793. If you feel that a code fragment can’t be understood without comments, try to change the code structure in a way that makes comments unnecessary. My name is Adam. And make especially sure that you document the things you considered and concluded would be the wrong thing to do in this piece of code and WHY that is the case. for a code review). Kent Beck recently wrote a piece called Naming From the Outside In in which he discusses a very interesting concept - that various parts of your system change at different speeds. × These comments just added to the noise in the file, made the code not fit on one page, harder to read and did not tell me anything that the code was not already telling me. Comment: Comment and document your code often as you might also not remember that a complex piece or a variable++ had solved some problems in the past. Clear editor. You should be documenting what was going on in your head when you were writing the code. Divergent Change. They will read code comments as they change the code. A commenter there linked to an illuminating article about rates of change in buildings and the implications on architecture (http://www.scottraymond.net/2003/5/19/pace-layers/). Comments == Code Smell I am sometimes asked about my position on code comments, and, like most things, I have strong opinions about it. What you were thinking should be there in plain sight, documented in the comments. Posted by 18 days ago. Very short functions are a code smell … Treat inline comments as code smells. Determining what is and is not a code smell is subjective, and varies by language, developer, and development methodology. KentBeck (with inspiration from the nose of MassimoArnoldi) seems to have coined the phrase in the "OnceAndOnlyOnce" page, where he also said that code "wants to be simple". If the comment tries to tell me what the code is doing, it's a "code smell". Is there not a more elegant way to do this which would not require comments to explain, where reading the code would make what it is doing obvious? The code is the best way to describe what the code is doing and we hope that someone trying to maintain the code is proficient in the language it is written in, so why all of the WHAT comments? - Speculative Generality Code Smell This code smell is about … The majority of a programmer's time is spent reading code rather than writing code. - Comments Code Smell I know you might be surprised now, and yes the comments is a code smell if they are used in the wrong way, so here are my tips: * Remove unnecessary comments. We all agree that good code is code which is properly documented, referring to the right amount of comments, but there is a terrible trap here that programmers seem to fall in all of the time. Code Smell; Comments should not be located at the end of lines of code Code Smell; Lines should not end with trailing whitespaces Code Smell; Files should contain an empty newline at the end Code Smell; Long suffix "L" should be upper case Code Smell; Functions returns should not be invariant Analyze your code. This in turn often means that an over-commented code doesn't have a good structure or the author doesn't understand the problem well enough to abstract it. Try to make your code self-documenting or intention-revealing. The key insight here is that if you have to add a comment to a line or a couple of lines of code you can probably refactor the code into a function which has the comment as the name. Usually these smells do not crop up right away, rather they accumulate over time as the program evolves (and especially when nobody makes an effort to eradicate them). Code Smell. Comments are a Code Smell. Next try to rename things or refactor it into a well-named method or fix the problem in some other way. Comments == Code Smell Posted by: Neal Ford on November 7, 2008. Long methods make code hard to maintain and debug. Nobody should ever read a piece of your code and ask out loud "what were they thinking when they did this?". So my personal approach is to find identifiers and names to formulate a readable code, which says everything what is actually happening on that specific line of code. Two kinds of comments exist: JavaDoc-style comments (which encompasses JavaDoc, XMLDoc, RDoc, etc), which are designed to produce developer documentation at a high level (class and method names and what they … Only keep the WHY comments and make sure they are complete. The best smell is something easy to find but will lead to an interesting problem, like classes with data and no behavior. 20 votes, 76 comments. Encapsulating a partial solution not only brings structure to your code, it makes the function actually readable. Quite often we try more than one approach when designing and implementing a piece of code, weighing various metrics/properties of the code to settle finally on the preferred solution. I would suggest the golden rule must be to test your comment by asking whether is it explaining WHY the code is done this way or if it is stating WHAT the code is doing. There's nothing wrong with codifying refactoring guidelines in a book. Someone edited bit masks for a register, but forgot to update the comments. If the purpose is obvious and easily derivable from the identifiers, why create a second meta layer which needs extra maintenance and creates a dependency? For everything else, there’s self-documenting code and you can push all your complexity down into private methods which can be unreadable to humans and without comments as long as there are specs that express the intended behaviour. What are code smells? Clarification comments are intended for anyone (including your future self) who may need to maintain, refactor, or extend your code.Often, a clarification comment is a code smell. Why was it done this way, why not any other way? Other code smell videos. These smells mean that if you need to change something in one place in your code, you have to make many changes in other places too. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. This leads to newcomers re-doing all your analysis work, often re-writing the code before realizing something you learned when you wrote it the first time. And are frequently used to cover up obtuse code structure to your code comments comments are definitely not ``! 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