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Re: succinctness = power

On Monday, June 3, 2002, at 10:43 AM, Robert Bruce Findler wrote:
> As others have pointed out, the problem is that programmers do not
> maintain the comments as they maintain the program. I think that this
> is an entirely different problem.

This argument supports the use of "executable comments" such as
assertions or contracts that not only explain what the program is doing
but that signal errors at runtime or compile time when the program 
and the "comments" do not.

Having a programming language
which encourages succinct and "declarative" coding goes a long way
toward making code readable. In a lightweight language,
perhaps we could hope for some sort of lightweight executable comments
as well.

> The standards for "quality" in the
> software industry are about zero, so its not surprising that people
> just ignore such comments -- and we all suffer for it!

Requiring the comments to be "executable" could potentially
improve the quality of the code, although its quite likely that
programmers will learn to write incomprehensible assertions
and confusing contracts....