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Comments

Comments are mostly used to add explanations to the code for future readers — which is often yourself. They can also be used to "comment out" code that you want to keep but that should not be run right now, since comments are ignored by the compiler.

Safe-DS has three types of comments, namely

Line Comments

Line comments stop at the end of a line:

// This is a comment.

They start with //. There must be no space between the slashes. Everything after the double slashes in the same line is the text of the comment.

To use line comments to "comment out" code you edit in VS Code, select the code and press Ctrl+/ on your keyboard. This will add // to the beginning of each selected line. You can also trigger this functionality by using the Toggle Line Comment command in the command palette. To remove the line comments, select the commented code and press Ctrl+/ again.

Block Comments

Block comments have a start and end delimiter, which allows them to cover multiple lines:

/*
This
is
another
comment
*/

They start with /* and end at the inverted delimiter */. There must be no space between the slash and the star. Block comments cannot be nested. Everything in between the delimiters is the text of the comment.

To use block comments to "comment out" code you edit in VS Code, select the code and press Ctrl+Shift+/ on your keyboard. This will surround the selected code with /* and */. You can also trigger this functionality by using the Toggle Block Comment command in the command palette. To remove the block comment, select the commented code and press Ctrl+Shift+/ again.

Documentation Comments

Documentation comments are special block comments that are used to document declarations1. The documentation is used in various places, e.g. when hovering over a declaration or one of its usage in VS Code. Here is an example:

/**
 * This is a documentation comment.
 */
class C

They start with /** and end with */. There must be no spaces inside the delimiters. Documentation comments cannot be nested. Everything in between the delimiters is the text of the comment, except an optional leading asterisk in each line, which is ignored. Documentation comments are attached to the declaration that follows them. If there is no declaration following the documentation comment, it is treated as a normal block comment, with no special meaning.

Markdown

Documentation comments support Markdown to format the text. Here is an example:

/**
 * This is a documentation comment with **bold** and *italic* text.
 */
class C

Tags

Documentation comments can contain tags to provide structured information.

{@link} is an inline tag that can be used to link to another declaration. It takes the name of the declaration as an argument:

/**
 * Computes the sum of two {@link Int}s.
 */
fun sum(a: Int, b: Int): sum: Int

To point to a member of a class or an enum variant of an enum, write the name of the containing declaration followed by a dot and the name of the member or enum variant:

/**
 * To create a Configuration, use {@link Configuration.fromFile}.
 */
class Configuration {

    /**
     * Creates a Configuration from a file.
     */
    fun fromFile(file: String) -> result: Configuration
}

@param

Use @param to document a parameter of a callable declaration. This tag takes the name of the parameter and its description as arguments. Since a callable can have multiple parameters, this tag can be used multiple times.

/**
 * ...
 *
 * @param a The first integer.
 * @param b The second integer.
 */
fun sum(a: Int, b: Int): sum: Int

@result

Use @result to document a result of a callable declaration. This tag takes the name of the result and its description as arguments. Since a callable can have multiple results, this tag can be used multiple times.

/**
 * ...
 *
 * @result sum The sum of `a` and `b`.
 */
fun sum(a: Int, b: Int): sum: Int

@typeParam

Use @typeParam to document a type parameter of a generic declaration. This tag takes the name of the type parameter and its description as arguments. Since a generic declaration can have multiple type parameters, this tag can be used multiple times.

/**
 * ...
 *
 * @typeParam T The type of the elements in the list.
 */
class List<T>

@since

The @since tag can be used to specify when a declaration was added. It takes the version as argument and should be used only once.

/**
 * ...
 *
 * @since 1.0.0
 */
fun sum(a: Int, b: Int): sum: Int

  1. Except parameter, results, and type parameters, which are documented with the @param, @result, and @typeParam tags on the containing declaration, respectively.