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> code can be much more precise and clear than English,

This doesn't address the parent's criticism. Clear, precise code only tells you what the computer is doing. What it can never tell you is why the computer needs to do it exactly like that.

Software breaks in weird ways when pushed to the limits. The fixes for these edge cases are not always obvious and may not be something that can be replicated with testing.

Without comments, some cowboy can come along and think, "it's flushing a buffer here? that's dumb. <delete>" The change gets put in, passes testing, spends four months in production, when a bug report comes in from a customer complaining about an issue that they had three years ago.

Now someone has to spend a bunch of time figuring out the problem, QAing the fix, then getting it back into production. It's thousands of dollars that the company could have saved if only there was a comment about why that buffer flush was there.

You might think this is some crazy edge case, but it's not.




This is my problem as with this argument as well. English and other spoken languages seem first and foremost about conveying ideas. Programming languages seem first and foremost about conveying instructions to computers that don't comprehend "ideas"..

Reconstructing the original idea or meaning can often involve far more context than local variable and functioning naming can provide.




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