To Comment Or Not To Comment - A Tale Of Two Stories

A few weeks ago I was sparked into a twitter conversation with Larry Garfield (@Crell) about the value of comments in code. Really, twitter is not the best place for that conversation, so I decided to write this post to illustrate my beliefs on commenting. Let’s start this story with the tweet from Larry that set off the conversation:

Nothing drives home the need for good code comments like working on code that doesn’t have them.

A pretty innocuous comment that is quite insightful. But that led me to respond with:

Nothing drives home the value of good, clean code by working on code that doesn’t need comments.

That led to an interesting discussion that just couldn’t fit on twitter. So let me explain…