Call for Action! ...or "The Holy Crusade Against Empty Class Comments"

Scott A Crosby crosby at
Thu Apr 18 09:27:37 UTC 2002

On Thu, 18 Apr 2002 goran.hultgren at wrote:

> In another thread we where discussing newbie problems, how to produce
> good reference material (both in-image/HTML-form/for books). And frankly
> - all these missing class comments really piss me off (pardon my french)
> - I am not mad at any individual or group - I am just mad at all of us -
> the whole community for not having fixed this! Call it "positive
> creative anger". :-)

I utterly agree! Its annoying to see critical internal classes with no
comments at all! I was trying to figure out the semantics of Weak* and
Identity*, about 6 months ago. And trolling through code is a bitch.

Incidently, once full text indexing is in the image, comments become a lot
more useful. Creating an index that can search all class comments is
almost trivial.

Or, we could have a 'keywords' line in class comments that indicate
important keywords, and use the fulltext indexing on that. (Find all
classes marked 'games morphic' or 'teach morphic' or 'morphic alice demo'
or 'system collections', 'incomplete', 'bitrotten', etc). Let that
keyword set be standardized, and we can have useful indications of
what is what and what is and is not important for various purposes. This
could be useful on its own...

Or extended a bit:

(I've not updated to a module-aware squeak, so I do not know how
applicable this is.) Make modules more related to administrative entities
than an excessive and confusing heirarchial classification system.

I don't want modules broken up like



So the ability to flatten that could be nice. Just have a couple of
modules for 'foo' and 'bar' and then use keywords.

Sorta like:


with keywords such as 'core widgets' 'games' 'example' 'toy' 'dev'
'author=sac' 'main-ui'......

And one can navigate classes based on these different views based on
different keywords. (find all classes with a keyword of 'demo' and remove
them from the system. :)

Just random stream-of-consciousness thoughts.


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