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Don’t Repeat Yourself’, or DRY, is taught by many make-yourself-a-better-programmer books — a genre of publishing which always reminds me of relationship self-help books. DRY says that the same concept shouldn’t be given more than one expression in the code. But taken to extremes, DRY means that any comment saying what a program is trying to do is redundant, because a program is by definition already a statement of what it does. Don’t repeat yourself, in other words, can be taken to mean: never explain yourself.
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Inform: Past, Present, Future
working programmers. All programming languages provide for comments, but coders often want to purge this marginalia, disliking any verbose comment as a form of ‘cruft’. It violates, they would say, the ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’ maxim. ‘<span>Don’t Repeat Yourself’, or DRY, is taught by many make-yourself-a-better-programmer books — a genre of publishing which always reminds me of relationship self-help books. DRY says that the same concept shouldn’t be given more than one expression in the code. But taken to extremes, DRY means that any comment saying what a program is trying to do is redundant, because a program is by definition already a statement of what it does. Don’t repeat yourself, in other words, can be taken to mean: never explain yourself. I am a contrarian on this. My own programs are written using the doctrine of ‘literate programming’ — an unhelpful name today, implying a bit aggressively that everybody else is ill

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