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We’ve all seen them in code, our own and others’, and they sit there, staring at us, begging “why do you ignore us?”. No, I’m not talking about un-optimized code or needless comments. Well, yes in a way, for that first one. I’m talking about the ever present @todo Do some task comment, reminding us “hey, you should do this, but later.

What if…what…if, instead of pushing off for another day, another week, another forever, we instead took care of those to-do’s. Even better, what if we made a mini developer “holiday” out of it. We could call it “@TODO Day”.

I’m honestly not even envisioning a lot of rigid structure for this. It doesn’t have to be on every 25th of December like Christmas is, or every July 4th like Independence day. Just, as it’s needed, and as long as people participate. You could even set up your own schedule with your coworkers. It doesn’t need to be an internet-wide united event.

On top of that, this doesn’t even just have to be within your own projects or products. There are many open source projects out there that could have their own long list of lingering @TODO comments. A quick scan with PHPStorm on WordPress core shows 463 items, as an example.

Now it’s true that a project at the size of WordPress may have noticeably more friction in getting changes in place for their own notes, but if anything the ball could be get started rolling, a Trac ticket could be opened, and maybe you could get props credit in a future release. In the meantime, check out some other smaller projects where the friction may not be as intense.

Working together, we can reduce these notes to ourselves littered in our code, improve that existing code, and make our slice of the internet world just a little bit better.

Michael is a seasoned developer who loves helping build stuff for the internet. He brings over a decade of varied experiences working with both front and back end developer stacks.

His primary focus has been WordPress and PHP and all the components that go along with them. During the day, he is a Support Engineer with WebDevStudios, helping clients get the best that they can out of their own websites.

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