New comment delimiter?

Mike Klein mike at
Mon Dec 29 19:07:27 UTC 1997

> From gr at Thu Dec 25 01:24:16 1997

> Just an idea:
> 	What if we use the color and/or size of the text to show if it's a
> comment for programers, a comment for users, just a comment, or anything
> else?
> It has some problemas like storing all that information as text (HTML may
> help?), and it also makes you learn some color codes to understand what's
> written (size can help for this problem), but it has
> a very nice pro: You can write a book in this way, with titles,
> subtitles, superscripts (?), etc. and of course embedded examples!
> 	What do you think?

So what you really seem to want is some informational tag on the comments,
so you can tell, for example, the intended audience.  (I certainly wouldn't
mind setting the color of the copyright notice comments to transparent :-).
This is, loosely speaking, a meta-comment... a comment about the comment.
Of course in a reflective system, one can add a semantic component even to
comments.  Sounds like a good idea.  Important to to have some kind of
"standard" so we can all at least have some inkling of what these 
meta-comments mean.  Also, divorce the idea of physical markup from the
semantic tagging.  In outher words,  the author of a comment may tag it as
being for lawyers only.  It should be the viewer's responsibilty to map
these tags to actual emphases, be they colors for the non-color-blind,
font-sizes for the color-blind, voice-intonation for the totally blind,
or even elided for the legallly-apathetic. There could also be standard
mappings, aka style-sheets.

Of course it would be nice if we could tag all components to the source,
not just the comment.  I think it would be way cool if Squeak's methods
and classes were tagged with a "difficulty level".  Beginers' browsers
would show things like #do: before #inject:into:   and  OrderedCollection
before Metaclass.

	Ramblings after the holidays...

	-- Mike Klein

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