Ruby is undoubtedly one of the most comprehensive programming languages used for decades. Also, it is ranked as one of the top 10 programming languages. Of course, there are multiple benefits of using Ruby as the core of web development process, the fact that Ruby encompasses tools and libraries to meet the needs of optimal code quality standards, it is the first choice of a majority of the developers.
But why do you need to test the quality of the code?
Often, developers argue on the need or importance of code quality tools as the significant aspect of the software development life cycle. For developers that are burdened by the approaching deadlines, what matters most is the completion of the project. The manner in which the code has been written comes secondary. While this might not matter to you much, but it holds tremendous importance when it comes to readability, making it easier for any other developer to use or reuse it.
Ruby acknowledges this and has listed several tools and libraries that aid in testing the quality of the developed code. Where some work in a standalone environment, the ones listed below engage with other Ruby gems to detest the complexity of the code and also highlight figures for the code that needs to be modified.
In case you plan to work on a Ruby project or are currently on it, the knowledge of these libraries would help you analyze and improvise the code.
Three Ruby Gems for Testing Code Quality
In case you are planning to stick to the statistical view of the code, working with RubyCritic is the best fit. The tool integrates with other Ruby gems to make the most out of the quality checking process. These include Reek, Glog, and Flak, all of them acting as the Code Analyzers and smell detectors. What makes this one of the best software checking tools is its appealing interface. RubyCritic uses graphics to display the entire project, highlighting areas that need to be restructured.
A code smell is one such area that could be fatal for the developed project. It is important for the developers to locate areas that add up to code smells. It could either be a bug or a problem that has the potential to induce bugs. If this is not taken care of, it might lead to degrading the coding efficiency. As the code length increases, finding these and fixing them turns a considerable problem. Hence, it is advisable to use tools or libraries that can smell the code and detect bugs.
RubyCritic is one of the widely used tools for tracking code smells. Installing it also is not a problem:
gem 'rubycritic', require: false, groups: [:development, :test:] Once done, you need to bundle install and then run the tool against the code of your app: $ cd /path/to/your/app $ bundle install $ bundle exec rubycritic --format html In case the generated report does not show up, you can get hold of them here: $ open tmp/rubycritic/overview.html
The report gives a detailed description of the identified errors, which can then be used by the developers to fix their codebase. The overview provided by the tool displays the complexity which helps developers reduce the churn rate and at the same time, improve the overall efficiency of the developed code.
One of the most popular code metric tools and used by the majority of the Ruby developers, Rubocop acts as an analyzer and performs checks to maintain the code consistency. Rubocop strictly follows the guidelines laid by the Ruby style community, and hence using the same ensures keeping the code clean and readable across the entire project. Considering the precision followed by the tool, several developers find it hard to comply with the rules and turn furious.
The Rubocop enlists an array of rules or, as the name suggests, cops so as to stick to the guidelines of the Ruby community. These rules include issues relating to the code style, the design and additional metrics for better viability of the code. Basic errors such as line breaks, inefficient practices, and gaps are auto removed by the tool. After the tool performs the check, the issues are displayed on the console. It comprises of all that have been auto-corrected and the ones that need to be fixed, along with suggestions for refactoring.
Initially, rubocop was regarded as the linter; however today it stands as the statistics analyzing tools for Ruby.
In order to get started, you need to add the following within your gemfile.
gem ‘rubocop’, require: false
This followed by bundle install. And you are now ready to use the Rubocop command.
In case you are using it for the first time, you might have issues dealing with the linting rules. So if you are just here to run the code quality check, what you can do is copy the below and paste it within a .rubocop.yml file.
AllCops: DisabledByDefault: true Rails/OutputSafety: Enabled: true Bundler/InsecureProtocolSource: Enabled: true Security/Eval: Enabled: true Security/JSONLoad: Enabled: true Security/MarshalLoad: Enabled: true Security/Open: Enabled: true Security/YAMLLoad: Enabled: true
Once you run this file, you can now move ahead checking the code quality. What we did a little while ago was for pausing things for the tool for a while and shifting its focus towards the metric side of the code.
And last in our list of the top three code analysis tool of Ruby is MetricFu gem. It is also regarded as the aggregator of the different analysis gems as available in Ruby. Similar to rubyCritic, the MetricFu gem also generates an array of reports outlining the different quality aspects of your code. The gem is seen to use various other statistical analysis tools of Ruby and includes Reek, Flay, Flog, Saikuro, Churn, Roodi, Rails Best Practices, and Code Statistics.
Once you install and run the command, an HTML report is generated that showcases the different code metrics. To install the gem, you need to write:
gem install metric_fu
And then, switch on to the application root to run the given below command:
The generated reports are saved in the default output directory of the tool (tmp/metric_fu/output).
Similar to rubyCritic, MetricFu also generates an HTML view of the report, which can be seen from tmp/metric_fu/output/index.html, and this is done with the help of an inbuilt HTML formatter. In case you aren’t comfortable with this, you can always customize the output directory, determining where you want to save the generated reports.
What makes this different from RubyCritic is the fact that no quick overview is displayed by the tool. To have an overview, you need to manually dig in the various reports and decipher the complexity of your code. However, the report generated by Reek gives an overview of the code smell, which makes it easier for the developer to fix them.
The Final Word
This is not the end, as there are many more to be added. The fact that we were looking for the top three, rubyCritic, Robocop and MetricFu, happens to be on our list. It is always essential to test the quality of the code, on and off the project needs to be sure as to where exactly are you putting your hands. The cleaner the code, the essential it is for the software developers to perform on it. Hire ruby on Rails developer and programmers from us to leverage the ultra-wide range of skills.