156: Commented

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 23:44, 12 November 2012 by (talk)
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Your IDE's color may vary.
Title text: Your IDE's color may vary.


In certain programming languages (including but not limited to C (since C99), C++, C#, Java, Javascript, PHP, and Scala), inserting a double slash (//) at the beginning of a line will "comment" that line out. This causes the computer to ignore that line when running the program.

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.

In this comic, BlackHat is ignoring Cueball's question by lifting two fingers towards him, forming a double slash. (It seems to me like Cueball at first thought that he was being flipped off, then realizes it's a different gesture).


[two men are talking, one is hat-man]
First man: Hey, can you do me a favor?
[Hat man holds his hand out toward the first man]
Hat man: Commented!

First man: Huh?

[Hat man is holding his first and second fingers parallel and at an angle, and they are green. First man and his next line are also green.]
First man: Wait, what does that gesture even mean?

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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)