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This article is currently in the process of being translated into Turkish (~18% done).

The Basics:

Code Comments

When writing code, you will quickly get used to the fact that pretty much any character or word you enter will have a special meaning. For instance, you will see a lot of keywords in C#, like class, namespace, public and many more. You will also see that the compiler makes sure that you are using these keywords, as well as your own variables and methods, in the correct way. C# is a fairly strict language and the compiler will help you make sure that everything is entered the way it should be. However, you do have a single possibility to write whatever you like, thanks to the concept of code comments.

You may have already experienced comments in some of the code you have seen, be it C# or any other programming language - the concept of comments in code is pretty universal. The way they are written varies a lot though, so let's have a look at the type of comments you can use in your C# code.

Tek satırlık yorumlar

C# dilinde kullanılan en temel yorum satırı tipi tek satırlık yorumlardır. Adından da anlaşılabileceği gibi, tek bir satırı yorum satırına dönüştürür. Nasıl olduğuna bakalım:

// My comments about the class name could go here...
class Program
{
......

Böylece: Kod satırının önüne çift slash (//) koyarsanız, kodunuz derleyicinin hiçbir şekilde dikkate almayağı bir şeye dönüşür. Bunu diğer satırlara da uygulayabilirsiniz.

// My comments about the class name could go here...
// Add as many lines as you would like
// ...Seriously!
class Program
{
......

Çok satırlı yorumlar

Bazı durumlarda çok satırdan oluşan yorumlar yazmak isteyebilirsiniz. Böyle durumlarda C#'ın sunduğu çok satırlı yorum varyantını kullanmak daha mantıklı olabilir. Her satırın başına çift slash ön ekini yazmaktansa, başlangıç ve bitiş karakterinin yerlerini belirlersiniz - ikisinin arasındaki her şey yorum olarak ele alınır.

/*  
My comments about the class name could go here...  
Add as many lines of comments as you want  
...and use indentation, if you want to!  
*/  
class Program  
{
......

Başlangıç işareti olarak slash yıldız ( /* ) kullanın, tek satır ya da satırlar boyunca istediğiniz açıklama, yorum vs. yazın. Bitiş işareti olarak yıldız slash ( */ ) kullanın. Bu iki işaret arasına yazdığınız her şey yorum olarak ele alınır.

As with pretty much any other programming related subject, whether to use multiple single-line comments or one multi-line comment is often debated. Personally, I use both, for various situations - in the end, it's all up to you!

Documentation comments

Documentation Comments (sometimes referred to as XML Documentation Comments) looks like regular comments, but with embedded XML. Just like with regular comments, they come in two forms: Single-line and multi-line. You also write them the same way, but with an extra character. So, single-line XML Documentation Comments uses three forward slashes (///) instead of two, and the multi-line variant gets an extra asterisk added in the start delimiter. Let's see how it looks:

class User
{
    /// <summary>
    /// The Name of the User.
    /// </summary>
    public string Name { get; set; }

    /**
    * <summary>The Age of the User.</summary>
    */
    public string Age { get; set; }
}

Here you can see both variants - single-line and multi-line. The result is the same, but the first variant tends to be the most commonly used for documentation comments.

Documenting your types and their members with documentation comments is a pretty big subject, and therefore it will be covered more in depth in a later article, but now you know how they look!

Code comments & the Task list

If you're using Visual Studio, you can actually get some help tracking your code comments. In the Task List window (access it from the menu View > Task List) your comments will appear if they use the special, but very simple Task List comment syntax:

//TODO: Change "world" to "universe"
Console.WriteLine("Hello, world!");
//HACK: Don't try this at home....
int answerToLife = 42;

So if the single-line comment is immediately followed by TODO or HACK, it will appear in the Task List of Visual Studio, like this:

And there are more types - depending on the version of Visual Studio you're using, it will respond to some or all of the following comment tokens:

  • TODO
  • HACK
  • NOTE
  • UNDONE

You can even add your own tokens, if you want to - just follow the steps described in this article.

Summary

Code comments are extremely useful in documenting your code or for the purpose of leaving clues to your self or your potential colleagues on how stuff works. As an added benefit, they're great when you need to test something quickly - just copy a line and comment out the original line and you can see how it works now. If you're not happy with the result, you can just delete the new line and uncomment the original line and you're back to where you started.

And don't worry about the end-user snooping through your comments - they are, as already mentioned, completely ignored by the compiler and therefore not in anyway included in your final DLL or EXE file. Code comments are your personal free-space when programming, so use it in any way you want to.

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