gometalinter 0,3,7,2,1,0,5 travis-ci

Concurrently run Go lint tools and normalise their output

2 years after MIT

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The number of tools for statically checking Go source for errors and warnings is impressive.

This is a tool that concurrently runs a whole bunch of those linters and normalises their output to a standard format:

<file>:<line>:[<column>]: <message> (<linter>)

eg.

stutter.go:9::warning: unused global variable unusedGlobal (varcheck)
stutter.go:12:6:warning: exported type MyStruct should have comment or be unexported (golint)

It is intended for use with editor/IDE integration.

Editor integration

Supported linters

  • go vet - Reports potential errors that otherwise compile.
  • go vet --shadow - Reports variables that may have been unintentionally shadowed.
  • gotype - Syntactic and semantic analysis similar to the Go compiler.
  • deadcode - Finds unused code.
  • gocyclo - Computes the cyclomatic complexity of functions.
  • golint - Google's (mostly stylistic) linter.
  • varcheck - Find unused global variables and constants.
  • structcheck - Find unused struct fields.
  • aligncheck - Warn about un-optimally aligned structures.
  • errcheck - Check that error return values are used.
  • dupl - Reports potentially duplicated code.
  • ineffassign - Detect when assignments to existing variables are not used.
  • interfacer - Suggest narrower interfaces that can be used.
  • unconvert - Detect redundant type conversions.
  • goconst - Finds repeated strings that could be replaced by a constant.
  • gosimple - Report simplifications in code.
  • staticcheck - Statically detect bugs, both obvious and subtle ones.
  • gas - Inspects source code for security problems by scanning the Go AST.

Disabled by default (enable with --enable=<linter>):

  • testify - Show location of failed testify assertions.
  • test - Show location of test failures from the stdlib testing module.
  • gofmt -s - Checks if the code is properly formatted and could not be further simplified.
  • goimports - Checks missing or unreferenced package imports.
  • lll - Report long lines (see --line-length=N).
  • misspell - Finds commonly misspelled English words.
  • unparam - Find unused function parameters.
  • unused - Find unused variables.
  • safesql - Finds potential SQL injection vulnerabilities.

Additional linters can be added through the command line with --linter=NAME:COMMAND:PATTERN (see below).

Configuration file

gometalinter now supports a JSON configuration file which can be loaded via --config=<file>. The format of this file is determined by the Config struct in config.go.

The configuration file mostly corresponds to command-line flags, with the following exceptions:

  • Linters defined in the configuration file will overlay existing definitions, not replace them.
  • "Enable" defines the exact set of linters that will be enabled.

Here is an example configuration file:

{
  "DisableAll": true,
  "Enable": ["deadcode", "unconvert"]
}

Installing

There are two options for installing gometalinter.

  1. Install a stable version, eg. go get -u gopkg.in/alecthomas/gometalinter.v1. I will generally only tag a new stable version when it has passed the Travis regression tests. The downside is that the binary will be called gometalinter.v1.
  2. Install from HEAD with: go get -u github.com/alecthomas/gometalinter. This has the downside that changes to gometalinter may break.

Comment directives

gometalinter supports suppression of linter messages via comment directives. The form of the directive is:

// nolint[: <linter>[, <linter>, ...]]

Suppression works in the following way:

  1. Line-level suppression

    A comment directive suppresses any linter messages on that line.

    eg. In this example any messages for a := 10 will be suppressed and errcheck messages for defer r.Close() will also be suppressed.

    a := 10 // nolint
    a = 2
    defer r.Close() // nolint: errcheck
  2. Statement-level suppression

    A comment directive at the same indentation level as a statement it immediately precedes will also suppress any linter messages in that entire statement.

    eg. In this example all messages for SomeFunc() will be suppressed.

    // nolint
    func SomeFunc() {
    }

Implementation details: gometalinter now performs parsing of Go source code, to extract linter directives and associate them with line ranges. To avoid unnecessary processing, parsing is on-demand: the first time a linter emits a message for a file, that file is parsed for directives.

Quickstart

Install gometalinter (see above).

Install all known linters:

$ gometalinter --install
Installing:
  structcheck
  aligncheck
  deadcode
  gocyclo
  ineffassign
  dupl
  golint
  gotype
  goimports
  errcheck
  varcheck
  interfacer
  goconst
  gosimple
  staticcheck
  unparam
  unused
  misspell
  lll
  gas
  safesql

Run it:

$ cd example
$ gometalinter ./...
stutter.go:13::warning: unused struct field MyStruct.Unused (structcheck)
stutter.go:9::warning: unused global variable unusedGlobal (varcheck)
stutter.go:12:6:warning: exported type MyStruct should have comment or be unexported (golint)
stutter.go:16:6:warning: exported type PublicUndocumented should have comment or be unexported (golint)
stutter.go:8:1:warning: unusedGlobal is unused (deadcode)
stutter.go:12:1:warning: MyStruct is unused (deadcode)
stutter.go:16:1:warning: PublicUndocumented is unused (deadcode)
stutter.go:20:1:warning: duplicateDefer is unused (deadcode)
stutter.go:21:15:warning: error return value not checked (defer a.Close()) (errcheck)
stutter.go:22:15:warning: error return value not checked (defer a.Close()) (errcheck)
stutter.go:27:6:warning: error return value not checked (doit()           // test for errcheck) (errcheck)
stutter.go:29::error: unreachable code (vet)
stutter.go:26::error: missing argument for Printf("%d"): format reads arg 1, have only 0 args (vet)

Gometalinter also supports the commonly seen <path>/... recursive path format. Note that this can be very slow, and you may need to increase the linter --deadline to allow linters to complete.

FAQ

Exit status

gometalinter sets two bits of the exit status to indicate different issues:

Bit Meaning
0 A linter generated an issue.
1 An underlying error occurred; eg. a linter failed to execute. In this situation a warning will also be displayed.

eg. linter only = 1, underlying only = 2, linter + underlying = 3

What's the best way to use gometalinter in CI?

There are two main problems running in a CI:

  1. Linters break, causing gometalinter --install --update to error (this is no longer an issue as all linters are vendored).
  2. gometalinter adds a new linter.

I have solved 1 by vendoring the linters.

For 2, the best option is to disable all linters, then explicitly enable the ones you want:

gometalinter --disable-all --enable=errcheck --enable=vet --enable=vetshadow ...

How do I make gometalinter work with Go 1.5 vendoring?

gometalinter has a --vendor flag that just sets GO15VENDOREXPERIMENT=1, however the underlying tools must support it. Ensure that all of the linters are up to date and built with Go 1.5 (gometalinter --install --force) then run gometalinter --vendor .. That should be it.

Why does gometalinter --install install a fork of gocyclo?

I forked gocyclo because the upstream behaviour is to recursively check all subdirectories even when just a single directory is specified. This made it unusably slow when vendoring. The recursive behaviour can be achieved with gometalinter by explicitly specifying <path>/.... There is a pull request open.

Gometalinter is not working

That's more of a statement than a question, but okay.

Sometimes gometalinter will not report issues that you think it should. There are three things to try in that case:

1. Update to the latest build of gometalinter and all linters

go get -u github.com/alecthomas/gometalinter
gometalinter --install

If you're lucky, this will fix the problem.

2. Analyse the debug output

If that doesn't help, the problem may be elsewhere (in no particular order):

  1. Upstream linter has changed its output or semantics.
  2. gometalinter is not invoking the tool correctly.
  3. gometalinter regular expression matches are not correct for a linter.
  4. Linter is exceeding the deadline.

To find out what's going on run in debug mode:

gometalinter --debug

This will show all output from the linters and should indicate why it is failing.

3. Report an issue.

Failing all else, if the problem looks like a bug please file an issue and include the output of gometalinter --debug.

Details

Additional linters can be configured via the command line:

$ gometalinter --linter='vet:go tool vet -printfuncs=Infof,Debugf,Warningf,Errorf {path}:PATH:LINE:MESSAGE' .
stutter.go:21:15:warning: error return value not checked (defer a.Close()) (errcheck)
stutter.go:22:15:warning: error return value not checked (defer a.Close()) (errcheck)
stutter.go:27:6:warning: error return value not checked (doit()           // test for errcheck) (errcheck)
stutter.go:9::warning: unused global variable unusedGlobal (varcheck)
stutter.go:13::warning: unused struct field MyStruct.Unused (structcheck)
stutter.go:12:6:warning: exported type MyStruct should have comment or be unexported (golint)
stutter.go:16:6:warning: exported type PublicUndocumented should have comment or be unexported (deadcode)

Checkstyle XML format

gometalinter supports checkstyle compatible XML output format. It is triggered with --checkstyle flag:

gometalinter --checkstyle

Checkstyle format can be used to integrate gometalinter with Jenkins CI with the help of Checkstyle Plugin.

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