Chapter 1. Basics

That a problem is basic does not mean it isn't severe or common. In fact, the common presence of the basic problems discussed in this chapter is perhaps more cause for alarm than the more technically advanced problems we discuss in later chapters. The basic nature of the problems discussed here implies that they may be present, to some extent, in almost all C++ code.

Gotcha #1: Excessive Commenting

Many comments are unnecessary. They generally make source code hard to read and maintain, and frequently lead maintainers astray. Consider the following simple statement:

a = b;  // assign b to a

The comment cannot communicate the meaning of the statement more clearly than the code itself, and so is useless. Actually, it's worse ...

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