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Re: Improving the quality of my modules

by Ravenhall (Beadle)
on Aug 14, 2015 at 15:32 UTC ( #1138600=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Improving the quality of my modules

One that I use a lot (and encourage others to use) is Perl::Critic. For those for aren't aware, it is a static source code analyzer. It critiques your code against best practices and recommendations from both the Perl community and Damien Conway's excellent book Perl Best Practices.

<rant>A common criticism of Perl::Critic I've heard before is that some people disagree with this or that default policy. So for those folks I recommend Perl::Critic::Lax, which has policies that get Perl::Critic to loosen its tie a bit . There are also 167 modules in the Perl::Critic namespace, many of which are collections of policies and 65 in the Perl::Critic::Policy sub-namespace itself. Chances are that there's a policy in there that might scratch your itch. Failing that they can always RTFM and learn to make their own policies.</rant>

I have found static source code analysis to be a great tool when beginning work on a very large codebase. It helps point out things that could very well be long-standing bugs of which the team working on the code may not even be aware. It also helps me zero in on areas of the code that may have only been put through perfunctory testing that may be in need of extra attention. I highly recommend trying it out if you've never used it.

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Re^2: Improving the quality of my modules
by davido (Cardinal) on Aug 14, 2015 at 16:58 UTC

    If you are using Test::Perl::Critic, please be sure to make the tests only run if some environment variable such as RELEASE_TESTING is set. There are a couple of reasons for this.

    First, Perl::Critic takes time, and what it tests is not likely to actually change from the time you test your release to the time it gets on a user's system. So there's no good reason to tie up user install time testing what cannot have changed since you built the distribution.

    Second, it is possible that others have a global Perl::Critic config file set that alter what Perl::Critic looks for. You could discover your tests are suddenly failing on those user's systems, not because the code has changed, but because the test's behavior has changed. Conversely, if you have your own .perlcriticrc, and if it doesn't ship with the distribution, then what you are testing will again be different from what the tests do on a typical user's system.

    For these reasons it's wise to not cause a test suite failure based on Test::Perl::Critic running on user's systems. The best approach is to only run it when you are preparing a release.


    Dave

      This is good advice. It's why I run it on the side outside of the test suite.

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