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Topic: Wouldn't it be nice if Matlab supported C-style comments?
Replies: 8   Last Post: Mar 12, 2013 6:46 PM

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Posts: 493
Registered: 2/23/10
Re: Wouldn't it be nice if Matlab supported C-style comments?
Posted: Mar 10, 2013 3:02 PM
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On Mar 10, 1:27 pm, dpb <n...@non.net> wrote:
>On 3/10/2013 12:04 PM, Paul wrote:
>> C-style comments are great! You don't have to comment everything
>> to the right of the comment character. You can comment out a
>> snippet of code in the middle of a line, and keep the rest of the
>> code to the right of it.

> OTOH, you have to close the opening comment character or it keeps on
> going..."there is no free lunch"

There only no free lunch if you choose one commenting style or the
other. C++ allows both.

>> I (and I suspect others) spread complex statements and expressions
>> over several lines, using deeper levels of indentation as cognitive
>> cues to show which parts of the code bind together more tightly due
>> to higher precedence. You can't comment out a snippet of code in
>> middle of those lines. If you want to experimentally try a number
>> of variations of the code, you have to duplicate the whole chunk of
>> code

> Well, no, you only need duplicate the line which contains the
> snippet you're trying to experiment is at least one alternative.

If they are different statements, yes, but I'm talk specifically about
spreading a complex statement or expression over several physical
lines so that you can use the indentation levels. For example, if
you're experimenting with different forms of a symbolic mathematical
statement, the form of the right hand side might change a lot, so you
want to keep the corresponding matlab expression in a form that is
easily manipulated and easy to detect manual errors. You need the
cognitive assistance of indentation levels:

function resid = myfunc(llt,u)
resid = ...
log( ...
1 - ...
1 - exp(-exp(llt)) ...
) ...
./ exp(llt) ...
) ...
- log(u)
end % function

If you use Matlab's comment character to try commenting the one line:

% ./ exp(llt) ...

you get an error message on that line. It would be nice to be able to
close the comment. Using C-style commenting, it might look like:

/* ./ exp(llt) ... */

Like I said, replicating the whole chunk of code just to be able to
hack one line (while still retaining the original) creates a whole
valley of experimental code, disrupting the continuity in reading the
rest of the code.

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