Handling Objections: Static Analysis Will Take up Part of Working Time

Talking to people at conferences and in comments to articles, we face the following objection: static analysis reduces the time to detect errors, but takes up programmers’ time, which negates the benefits of using it and even slows down the development process. Let’s get this objection straightened out and try to show that it’s groundless.


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Kodi

Kodi

Missed semicolon

PVS-Studio warning: V504 It is highly probable that the semicolon ‘;’ is missing after ‘return’ keyword. AdvancedSettings.cpp:1476

void CAdvancedSettings::SetExtraArtwork(const TiXmlElement* arttypes,
   std::vector& artworkMap)
{
  if (!arttypes)
    return
  artworkMap.clear();
  const TiXmlNode* arttype = arttypes->FirstChild("arttype");
  ....
}

The code formatting suggests the following execution logic:

  • if arttypes is a null pointer, the method returns;
  • if arttypes is a non-null pointer, the artworkMap vector gets cleared and some actions are then performed.

But the missing ‘;’ character breaks it all, and the actual execution logic is as follows:

  • if arttypes is a null pointer, the artworkMap vector gets cleared and the method returns;
  • if arttypes is a non-null pointer, the program executes whatever actions come next but the artworkMap vector doesn’t get cleared.

To cut a long story short, this situation does look like a bug. After all, you hardly expect anyone to write expressions like return artworkMap.clear(); :).

Please click here to see more bugs from this project.