Ineffective and insufficient commenting of code is a major problem in software development. Coders find commenting frustrating and time consuming. Often, programmers will write a section of code and come back later to comment, potentially reducing the accuracy of the information.

Speech Enhanced Commenting is a system that takes advantage of an unused human output - voice. This system allows users to speak their comments as they program, which is natural and can happen in parallel to the user typing the code. No additional time is needed to write comments.

Key phrases allow for special positioning of comments. For example "this function is used to sort last names" or "this class is derived from shape and is used to draw a convex hull". These comments would be pulled out and attached to function and class headers respectively, and not the currently active line.

There are additional benefits beyond providing a platform that encourages more thorough commenting. Having audio clips for each line allows functions to be read out loud, line-by-line, which can be helpful if a user in unfamiliar with the code and wants to review. However, more interestingly, the audio clips can be read like a story, following the execution path of the program. This can be extraordinary helpful for debugging. Users can focus on the code and listen to the description, providing a higher information throughput than just reading alone.

Example

function main
{
int x = 5;
int result;
for (int i=0;i<2;i++)
{
int y = readInt();
result = add(x,y);
print(result);
}

}

function add(int a, int b)
{
return a+b;
}

 

Linear playback of the main function:

Linear playback of the add function:

Execution path playback:

© Chris Harrison