Don’t trust code comments over 30 hours old. Inevitably the comment isn’t updated after code changes, resulting in confusion and bugs. In fact, I wish every IDE (Xcode, Eclipse, etc.) had a feature/plugin that would redact comments whenever code is changed, in order to force comment revision.
Here is how it would work. Given some commented code from a game:
/* Add a fixed bonus */ score += 100;
Any change to the code would immediately redact the associated comment with X’s:
/* XXX X XXXXX XXXXX */ score += time_left * 2;
Alternatively, it could reduce the comment to an Mad-Libs style fill-in-the-blank exercise:
/* _verb_ a _adjective_ _noun_ */ score += time_left * 2;
Either way, the coder would be forced to rewrite the comment to match the new code. This would encourage short comments, or better yet, no comments.
When this takes over every IDE, do I get credit for provoking it?? :-)