05 July 2017

Static Analysis is a waste of time

What I mean is, each time you run static analysis it wastes time. We need a proactive approach to a great many things that static analysis does for us. 

IDEs

IDEs should format and correct (automatically) the vast majority of our mistakes. Eclipse used to do a pretty good job of this. All IDEs should do a great job of this. Most don't. 

Coding Mistakes 

Most of us make them. Wouldn't it be great if our IDEs ran analysis on the code in the background and told us when we'd make a mistake? Some tools do this (often by virtue of a plugin) but often they are hard to configure, harder to use, and slow down the IDE. We need a better way. Something in the background that doesn't slow the IDE down too much and gives us a clean and simple report of the issues. I think we can do better.

Cyclomatic Complexity and the TCB

Issues like Cyclomatic Complexity and the Try-Catch-Bury should get flagged immediately. These are easy to spot and our IDEs should just throw up a dialog or a fly-over telling us that we're bad programmers right there on the spot. 

Why...

All of this static analysis is good stuff. We need it to help us make sure we're building our software well. But the amount of time we waste adding new lines to files or spaces in expressions or extra parens (adding and removing) is distracting us from getting things done. So much of what we do could be automated away and made easier. We'd get a lot of our time back so we could think about real issues.