Comments in VB.NET

In this article I will explain about comments and their usage and importance in coding.
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How to comment?

A comment is preceded by an apostrophe. The code of line after the apostrophe is simply ignored by the compiler. 
To code a comment, type an apostrophe followed by the comment. You can use this technique to add a comment on its own line or to add a comment after the code on a line.

Often when you code, you may want to comment out an entire block of code statements. Under normal circumstances, to do so you must Comment out each line individually. 

Another way to comment out one or more lines of code to select the lines and click on the Comment or UnComment button in the Text Editor toolbar.

Shortcut: You can use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+U to Comment or Uncomment selected lines of text.

Tips to Comment your code

  • Use comments only for portions of code that are difficult to understand
  • Comments are used to help document what a program does and what the code with it does. Keep the comments simple and direct. Avoid ASCII art, jokes, poetry and hyper verbosity.
  • Make sure that your comments are correct and up-to-date. There is no point in commenting correctly on code if the comments are not changed with the code. Both code and comments must move in parallel, otherwise the comments will actually make life more difficult for developers who maintain your code.
  • During testing, you can comment out lines of code by coding an apostrophe before them. This is useful for testing new statements without deleting the old statement.
  • Align comments in consecutive lines

    For multiple lines of code with trailing comments, align the comments so they will be easy to read.

    Const level As Integer = 100                 ' The level mark is constant to 100 can't be changed

     turnaround As Decimal = 34.5       ' The turnaround is constant and can't be placed more 

    Some developers use tabs to align comments, while others use spaces. Because tab stops can vary among editors and IDEs, the best approach is to use spaces.
  • Use paragraph comments 

    If you comment is very long in line of text break into paragraph show it can be seen in a single view. 

    Instead of writing like this:

    ' Author Puran Singh Mehra. Xyz Company. Created on 7th December 2008 12:23:34 P.M.

    Break into different lines like this:

    ' Author Puran Singh Mehra. 
    ' Xyz Company. 
    ' Created on 7th December 2008 12:23:34 P.M.

  • Consistent style of commenting

    Some people believe that comments should be written so that non-programmers can understand them. Others believe that comments should be directed at developers only. 

    Comments are consistent and always targeted to the same audience. Comments should target to developers and non-developers.
  • Don't insult the reader's intelligence

    Avoid obvious comments such as:

     age As Integer = 34
            If (age >= 18) Then      'if age is greater than 18 a person can vote
                Console.WriteLine("Can Vote")

    This wastes your time writing needless comments and distracts the reader with details that can be easily removed from the code.
  • Comment code while writing it

    Add comments while you write code and it's fresh in your memory. If you leave comments until the end, it will take you twice as long, if you do it at all. "I have no time to comment," "I'm in a hurry," and "The project is delayed" are all simply excuses to avoid documenting your code. Some developers believe you should write comments before code as a way to plan out your ultimate solution. 

    For example:

     Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs)Handles Button1.Click

            'On click of button check priopr that values are entered properly in order
            'Validate date for range and data types
            'ask before submitting values
            'make this entry in the database

            ' then you can follow your code

        End Sub

  • Write comments as if they were for you (in fact, they are)

    When it comes to commenting code, think not only about the developers who will maintain your code in the future, but also think about yourself. In the words of the great Phil Haack:

    "As soon as a line of code is laid on the screen, you're in maintenance mode on that piece of code."

    As a result, we ourselves will be the first beneficiaries (or victims) of our good (or bad) comments.
  • Write comment in a polite manner

    Avoid rude and harsh comments. You never know who may read these comments in the future: your boss, a customer, or the pathetically inept developer you just insulted. So maintain your respect and dignity.
  • The golden rule. 

    Let the code speak for itself. You code should be written in such a way that everyone should easily understand it.

    For example:

     str As String = "Puran Singh Mehra"
            Dim num As Integer = 36
            Dim binWriter As New BinaryWriter(File.OpenWrite("c:\myfile.dat"))


Hope the article would have helped you in understanding comments and their usage and importance in coding. Proper usage of comments makes your code easily to understand and improve performance.

Your feedback and constructive contributions are welcome. Please feel free to contact me for feedback or comments you may have about this article.


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