modelling program comments
tyrrell at canis.uiuc.edu
Fri Aug 4 00:15:36 UTC 2000
Lex Spoon wrote:
> Jon Hylands <Jon at huv.com> wrote:
> > This is something we talked about a lot at Interval. The idea was to
> > use the web browser as the text view for viewing/editing code, and
> > being able to have embedded objects and links that do stuff like
> > cross-referencing, or are pointers to more complete documentation.
> As an orthogonal concern, I certainly agree that all documentation
> should be hyperlink-able, including comments. It's unreasonable to
> think of people reading through code straight through, just like it's
> unreasonable to read an encyclopedia straight through.
> In my mind, the only question is what kinds of links should be present,
> and further, what kind of style programs and their documentation should
> be written in to be the most helpful.
ByteSmiths once described and provided example code for a hyperlinking facility for VisualWorks which was implemented by creating new Text emphasis objects. Of course, there was a bit more to it than that but not much more. The biggest immediate problem was that method source text was stripped of its emphasis before being stored, this was among the biggest changes. I probably still have source code for that lying around someplace.
This might be a better approach than inferring comment ownership- there are several ambiguities that exist, whereas one could simply highlight whatever expression they desired to emphasize it with a metadata emphasis. The emphasis could be visible to the eye, with special mouse-over behavior to provide access to the metadata object.
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