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Code Review: Class Comments

Let's talk in this post about code comments, around the following example.
    /// <summary>
    /// ... summary comments ...
    /// Note: If you change environment make sure you clear this file,as it will contain cached configuration
    /// </summary>
    public class ConfigurationPersister
    {        
        public T GetConfiguration<T>() { ... }        
        public void PersistConfiguration<T>(T configuration) { ... }
        internal bool HasConfiguration<T>() { ... }        
        private string CreateConfigFileName(string fileName) { ... }        
        private void CheckConfigDirectory() { ... }        
    }

Tags
First thing that we might notify is the 'NOTE' part. For this kind of scenarios we should use custom tags like '<remarks>'. In this way the other developer that is using the ConfigurationPersister (class), can see more clearly any remarks.
    /// <summary>
    /// ... summary comments ...
    /// <summary>
    /// <remarks>If you change environment make sure you clear this file,as it will contain cached configuration
    /// </remarks>
    public class ConfigurationPersister
    {        
        public T GetConfiguration<T>() { ... }        
        public void PersistConfiguration<T>(T configuration) { ... }
        internal bool HasConfiguration<T>() { ... }        
        private string CreateConfigFileName(string fileName) { ... }        
        private void CheckConfigDirectory() { ... }        
    }

In the summary, you should add only the content that is relevant. We should try to use other types of tags like '<remarks>' or '<see>', based on what kind of content we want to add there.

Location
The second thing that we notify is related what kind of information is specified in '<remarks>' tag. The comment specify that we should clean the content of the file if we change the environment. For the person that will use the application how does this information will be relevant?
Once you compile the code the comments are not relevant anymore for end user. The end user cannot see any kind of code comments.

Taking this into consideration, this comment should be added in a location where the end user can access it. In this case, this comment should be added inside the file where configuration is stored.
If the configuration file is generated dynamically,  we should push the comment from our code to the config. file.
<!--If you change environment make sure you clear this file,as it will contain cached configuration-->
<configuration>
  <ip>158.541.245.124</ip>
  <port>443</port>
</configuration>

Message

The last thing related to the message that is transmitted by the comment. A end user might not understand what does clear file means. It might be deleting the file, remove all content, remove a specific content from file.For end user it might not be clear what does change environment means.
It is recommended to provide clear information and try to define as clear as possible all actions. If you have at application level a glossary that defines clearly what each term or action means, that we are okay.

Conclusion
Before adding a comment try to:

  • See what is the real value of the comment
  • Why you need to add it 
  • Does the person that will read the comment will understand it
  • It is the right location (a message for end-user should never be added as code comment)

Comments

  1. If the configuration file is generated dynamically, we should push the comment from our code to the config. file.https://www.avaza.com

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