Batch Script – Comments


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It’s always a good practice to add comments or documentation for the scripts which are created. This is required for maintenance of the scripts to understand what the script actually does.

For example, consider the following piece of code which has no form of comments. If any average person who has not developed the following script tries to understand the script, it would take a lot of time for that person to understand what the script actually does.

ECHO OFF 
IF NOT "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" GOTO Syntax 
ECHO.%* | FIND "?" >NUL 
IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO Syntax 
IF NOT [%2]==[] GOTO Syntax 
SETLOCAL 
SET WSS= 
IF NOT [%1]==[] FOR /F "tokens = 1 delims = \ " %%A IN ('ECHO.%~1') DO SET WSS = %%A 
FOR /F "tokens = 1 delims = \ " %%a IN ('NET VIEW ^| FIND /I "\\%WSS%"') DO FOR /F 
"tokens = 1 delims = " %%A IN ('NBTSTAT -a %%a ^| FIND /I /V "%%a" ^| FIND "<03>"') 
DO ECHO.%%a %%A 
ENDLOCAL 
GOTO:EOF 
ECHO Display logged on users and their workstations. 
ECHO Usage: ACTUSR [ filter ] 
IF "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" ECHO Where: filter is the first part 
of the computer name^(s^) to be displayed

Comments Using the Rem Statement

There are two ways to create comments in Batch Script; one is via the Rem command. Any text which follows the Rem statement will be treated as comments and will not be executed. Following is the general syntax of this statement.

Syntax

Rem Remarks

where ‘Remarks’ is the comments which needs to be added.

The following example shows a simple way the Rem command can be used.

Example

@echo off 
Rem This program just displays Hello World 
set message=Hello World 
echo %message%

Output

The above command produces the following output. You will notice that the line with the Rem statement will not be executed.

Hello World

Comments Using the :: Statement

The other way to create comments in Batch Script is via the :: command. Any text which follows the :: statement will be treated as comments and will not be executed. Following is the general syntax of this statement.

Syntax

:: Remarks

where ‘Remarks’ is the comment which needs to be added.

The following example shows a simple way the Rem command can be used.

Example

@echo off 
:: This program just displays Hello World 
set message=Hello World 
echo %message%

Output

The above command produces the following output. You will notice that the line with the :: statement will not be executed.

Hello World

Note − If you have too many lines of Rem, it could slow down the code, because in the end each line of code in the batch file still needs to be executed.

Let’s look at the example of the large script we saw at the beginning of this topic and see how it looks when documentation is added to it.

::===============================================================
:: The below example is used to find computer and logged on users
::
::===============================================================
ECHO OFF 
:: Windows version check 
IF NOT "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" GOTO Syntax 
ECHO.%* | FIND "?" >NUL 
:: Command line parameter check 
IF NOT ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO Syntax
IF NOT [%2]==[] GOTO Syntax 
:: Keep variable local 
SETLOCAL 
:: Initialize variable 
SET WSS= 
:: Parse command line parameter 
IF NOT [%1]==[] FOR /F "tokens = 1 delims = \ " %%A IN ('ECHO.%~1') DO SET WSS = %%A 
:: Use NET VIEW and NBTSTAT to find computers and logged on users 
FOR /F "tokens = 1 delims = \ " %%a IN ('NET VIEW ^| FIND /I "\\%WSS%"') DO FOR /F 
"tokens = 1 delims = " %%A IN ('NBTSTAT -a %%a ^| FIND /I /V "%%a" ^| FIND 
"<03>"') DO ECHO.%%a %%A 
:: Done 
ENDLOCAL
GOTO:EOF 
:Syntax 
ECHO Display logged on users and their workstations. 
ECHO Usage: ACTUSR [ filter ] 
IF "%OS%"=="Windows_NT" ECHO Where: filter is the first part of the 
computer name^(s^) to be displayed

You can now see that the code has become more understandable to users who have not developed the code and hence is more maintainable.



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