Chapter 5: A Passing Comment

Mull It Over

  1. How might the need for and the content of comments differ in the following types of code:

    1. Low-level assembly language (machine code)

    2. Shell scripts

    3. A single-file test harness

    4. A large C/C++ project

Assembly language is less expressive, providing fewer opportunities for self-documenting code. Therefore, you’d expect more comments in assembly code, and you’d expect those comments to be at a much lower level than comments in other languages—assembly language comments generally would explain how as well as why.

There isn’t an enormous a difference between the remaining three. Shell scripts can be quite hard to read back; they are proto-Perl in this respect. Careful commenting helps. You’re more likely to use literate ...

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