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Use Hash-symbol vs Triple-quotes Syntax for Commenting Python Code

2022-08-01
, most recent update.

Commenting Phython Code

I would

  • use only the hash symbol '#' for commenting in Python
  • leave code comments foramtted differntly as they should not interfere with Markdown.

Hash Symbol for everything that follows on the same line

In Python, you can comment your code using the hash symbol # (a.k.a. 'pound-sign'). Everything following the hash symbol on the same line is considered a comment and will be ignored by the interpreter. Here's an example:

# This is a single-line comment in Python

x = 1 # This is an inline comment

Multi-line comments can be created by

using the hash symbol at the beginning

of each line

Tripple-quotes for multi-line comments

One could also use triple quotes ''' or """ to create multi-line comments in Python by enclosing the comment text within them. However, this approach is typically reserved for docstrings, which are used to document functions, classes, and modules. Here's an example:

'''
This is a multi-line comment
using triple quotes.
'''

x = 5

def my_function(): """ This is a docstring for the my_function. It's used to document the purpose and usage of the function. """ pass

The tripple quote and Markdown

Using triple quotes for comments in Python code should not cause any issues with Markdown. Just like the pound signal Markdown uses for Headings does not. A markup language and a programming language serve distinct purposes. They are processed differently.

Jupyter Notebooks or GitHub READMEs

If you are writing Python code within a Markdown file (e.g., in a Jupyter Notebook or a GitHub README), you are typically using code blocks to separate the Python code from the Markdown text.

Codeblocks in Markdown are triple backticks, not triple quotes

Code blocks are created by enclosing the code in triple backticks ``` followed by the language identifier - in this case, python.

```python
'''
This is a multi-line comment
using triple quotes.
'''

x = 1

def my_function(): """ This is a docstring for the my_function. It's used to document the purpose and usage of the function. """ pass


Using triple quotes for comments in this way will not conflict with Markdown formatting, as the Markdown processor treats the content within code blocks as separate from the rest of the Markdown text.
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