Sep 102012

We’ve written before about the value of writing your README before your code, but what about when it comes to the actual code? Terse one-liners? Paragraph-long descriptions? How much is enough and when is it too much?

How to comment code is a perennial subject of debate for programmers, one that developer Zachary Voase recently jumped into, arguing that one of the potential flaws with extensive comments (or any comments really) is that they never seem to get updated when the code changes. “We forget,” writes Voase, “overlooking a comment when changing the fundamental behavior of semantics of the code to which it relates.”

Voase thinks the solution is in our text editors, which typically “gray out” comments, fading then into the background so we can focus on the actual code. We ought to do the opposite, he believes: Make the comments jump out. Looking at the visual examples on Voase’s post makes the argument a bit more compelling. Good text editors have configurable color schemes so it shouldn’t be too hard to give this a try and see if it improves your comments and your code.

Another approach is to treat comments as a narrative. Dave Winer recently mentioned comments in passing, writing about the benefits of using an outliner to handle comments since it makes it easy to show and hide them:

MORE:  The Best Way to Comment Your Code | Webmonkey |


Apr 102012

YouTube is investing big money (to the tune of $100 million) and partnering with major personalities like Ashton Kutcher, Amy Poehler, and Shaquille O’Neal to produce original video content. Here’s why digital marketers can’t ignore the shift.

The game just changed. YouTube is investing an unconfirmed $100 million in original programming.

Talent includes names like Rainn Wilson, Deepak Chopra, Justin Lin, Anthony Zuiker, Amy Poehler, Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tony Hawk. Studios, such as Maker Studios in Culver City, are focused on production. (Maker is reportedly producing 300 YouTube videos each month at the cost of $1000 each.) And the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is making the deal attractive to the content creators, with a reported 55 percent of ad revenues going to the program makers.

via Why YouTube’s original programming changes the game –

Oct 102011



Google debuted an “early preview” version of a programming language called Dart today for building Web applications in the way JavaScript is used right now.

Programmer Lars Bak detailed the project in a talk today at the Goto conference conference today in Denmark and in a blog post. In it, he said Dart is geared for everything from small, unstructured projects to large, complicated efforts.

via Google debuts Dart, a JavaScript alternative | Deep Tech – CNET News.

Sep 062011



Unpretentious and easy to approach, Codeacademy makes coding so enjoyable, it’s hard to believe you’re actually learning something. The website starts users off small, offering tutorials on how to use some very basic JavaScript commands. Each lesson is incrementally progressive and conversational in tone, making it easy to advance your skills without breaking a sweat. Each time you reach a new plateau of coding knowledge, users are awarded with a virtual trophy, making the time spent learning how to do something useful feel a like playing a game.

via Maximum PC | Cool Site of the Week: Codeacademy.