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There are several almost standard tags used in comments: FIXME, TODO, BUGBUG.

Which other tags do you use and for what? Are there any standards on using them, i.e. format (supplemening with date and initials), revising procedures, etc?

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2 Answers 2

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The crucial question is how you will use the tagging.

If you are using this to keep track of actual problems in the code which you need to take care of later, you should strongly consider starting to use a bug tracker instead of code tags, as you will invariably need more information stored than will fit on a single line in source code.

  • What is wrong?
  • Why is it wrong? - this may be quite big if people disagree on the underlying cause
  • How should it be fixed? - this may also be quite big if it is a complicated issue and there are more than one way to do it. There may also be issues you need to work-around.
  • When should it be fixed? Timelines and postponing needs to be managed too.
  • How important is this bug?
  • Who to notify when the bug changes status?

The list goes on and on. If you "just" track pending work with this, the situation is almost the same, and you still would be better of with dedicated software.

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Don't put all that in the comment, just add the item to a tracker and put that number in the tag. Code tags and issue trackers are not mutually exclusive. Better still use a tracker that can use source commit notation, and mark the todo/fixme, eg: @revLline –  Slomojo Jan 30 '11 at 0:31
  1. All caps is good.
  2. FIXME and BUGBUG are redundant; choose one.
  3. Remember that this is technical debt.
  4. Put a task in your todo list or bug tracker to resolve them so you don't forget.
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FIXME is more common in my experience, not to mention that BUGBUG is more akin to an exclamation of defeat. Lose it. –  Slomojo Jan 30 '11 at 0:09
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Ticket the FIXME as soon as you enter it, and add the tracking number to the comment. - You can always grep for missing tickets later, and add them / perform public hanging of transgressors. (Ha ha, only serious.) –  Slomojo Jan 30 '11 at 0:11

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