156: Commented

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 156)
Jump to: navigation, search
Your IDE's color may vary.
Title text: Your IDE's color may vary.

[edit] Explanation

When Cueball asks Black Hat for a favor, he seems to be making a rude gesture, by lifting a finger towards Cueball. The word he says Commented! does, however, not seem to fit with the shorter four letter word usually combined with such a gesture.

Cueball also fails to understand this, but as it turns out, as the panels move around Black Hat and zooms in on his fingers, he is not making this rude gesture, but is instead actually lifting two fingers toward Cueball, forming a double slash and thereby ignoring both him and his question for a favor, by commenting him out programming style, even to the point where Black Hat sees the commenting out slashes, Cueball, and anything he says in the color for ignored parts of the program (or real world in this case).

In certain programming languages (including but not limited to C (since C99), C++, C#, Java, Javascript, PHP, and Scala), inserting a double slash (//) in a line marks everything after the double slash in the line as a "comment," i.e. something for humans to read that generally helps them understand the code better, rather than something for the computer to execute. Since all comment lines are ignored when a program is run or compiled, it is possible to simply put a double slash in front of any line of code to skip that line. This is known as "commenting out" the line.

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE for short) is an application that programmers use to write, compile, execute, and debug code. Many IDEs color-code text to make reading the code easier. In IDEs like Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio, a line that is commented out will be colored green; however, the color may vary depending on which IDE you use, and can usually also be customized. The title text refers to this variation among IDEs' color schemes.

[edit] Transcript

[Cueball calls out to and Black Hat while they are some distance apart as seen from the side. Black Hat is holding an arm out towards Cueball making a gesture and speaking one word.]
Cueball: Hey, can you do me a favor?
Black Hat: Commented!
[The same setting seen from behind Black Hat with Cueball drawn much smaller in the background.]
Cueball: Huh?
[Black Hat's hand is shown in close up. He is holding his first and second fingers parallel and at an angle towards the "small" Cueball to the left of the hand. The two fingers, as well as Cueball and his next line, are green.]
Cueball: Wait, what does that gesture even mean?

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


The issue date on this comic isn't filled. Can someone fix that by adding the correct issue date? Rikthoff (talk) 17:17, 3 August 2012 (EDT)

In the first two panels, it looks like he's flicking the guy off. It's not until the third panel that we actually see the subversion. I'm reasonably certain that this is intentional. 02:34, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

In QtCreator, comments are dark blue. Kaa-ching (talk) 08:32, 31 October 2013 (UTC)

I'm surprised that no-one has picked up on the fact that the text that is being commented out is multiple lines, but there is only one double slash, therefore only one of the lines can be commented out. For both to be commented, you'd need /* ... */ -- 09:03, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The title text may also be a reference to the "Your milage may vary." commonly found in the fine print in car commercials. 22:28, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

I believe he's commenting out Cueball entirely, thus ignoring him and therefore any and all statements he may make. Notice in the last panel that it's not Cueball's question alone that is color-coded, but Cueball as well. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I also interpreted it as Black Hat explicitly painting his fingers green in order to utilize the comment power of the double slashes as opposed to them turning green due to the gesture.Flewk (talk) 10:52, 25 December 2015 (UTC)

So how did he then paint Cueball green? I think it is how Black Hat sees Cueball, i.e. he doesn't. Kynde (talk) 15:09, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Comments don't silence, they just switch the mode from 'interaction required' to metadata, which may even persist. Or...Black Hat may consider it a 'favor' to give Cueball's life color... Elvenivle (talk)

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?