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Re: Object style guide

Martin Schultz (m218003@modell3.dkrz.de) writes:

> I'd be extremely happy if (especially) the gurus among you would find it
> equally useful to adopt a new format for the file header in object 
> definition routines. The attached file should serve as a basis for 
> discussion, I am open for any suggestions.

I appreciate you getting the discussion started about
this, Martin. Documenting object programs *is* difficult,
especially so because each method is its own separate
procedure or function with its own parameters, keywords,
etc. And then I know from long experience that just
because you document something doesn't mean anyone is
going to use it. You have to spell it out for them.
Give them easy-to-follow examples of what you mean by
the documentation.

That little DRAWCOLORS object I offered the other day
took me an hour to write and 3 days to document, what
with code comments and official documentation! Even
with a hugely sympathetic boss (I.e., me), that is
hard to justify. :-(

When you are writing widget objects you have a further
complication in that some methods are really event 
handlers--not really public methods. Obviously
these don't need to be documented the way 
direct interaction methods need to be. But should
they be in a separate file? And what about other
programs that are called from within objects
(e.g., XCOLORS)? Sigh...

I'm going to have another look at the new projects
capability in IDL 5.3. Maybe that is one way to
keep all of this stuff straight.



David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting
Phone: 970-221-0438 E-Mail: davidf@dfanning.com
Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
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