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Comment Rot

The single most scary thing about comments is the way they "rot". Just this morning I found the following line in a piece of open source software:

extern char* string_find(char*, int);	   /* defined in psc.c*/

Which is useful and interesting, except that psc.c no longer exists. They've renamed the files since they wrote this. Fortunately, it proved fairly easy to locate the function I needed, but it illustrates the most dangerous thing about comments. As the system evolves, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the comments and the code actually refer to the same "truth."

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