FSOSS & Dehydra Update

Last week I was in Canada to present at FSOSS with David Humphrey on awesome Mozilla Tools: Dehydra, DXR, Pork, etc. I think we managed to convey the message regarding what a sad affair that current developer development tools are.

General-Purpose Dehydra Scripts

Dehydra grew out of Mozilla’s constant need to figure out what is going on in the source code. As a result most of our scripts are very Mozilla API-specific. This makes harder for people outside of Mozilla to learn Dehydra. There is no library of Dehydra code that one can just plugin to start analyzing their codebase. Instead one has to sit down, figure out what Dehydra is capable of and then see if any of the problems facing the developer can be solved this way. If anyone wants to contribute such a library, let me know.

In the meantime, more general-purpose analyses are surfacing.

Shadowed Members

My favourite script so far is the member-shadowing checker. I ran into a member-shadowing warning that is unique to Sun’s C++ compiler. It was triggered by some code that I just landed on the tree. I fixed the warning, but within a few days a coworker ran into a bug caused by that member shadowing(due to having an unlucky revision of the code). The following example shows how simple it was to implement the warning in GCC/Dehydra.

See bug 522776 for the complete story on adding the member shadowing check to Mozilla.

Another general purpose analysis was done outside of Mozilla by Philip Taylor for his game. His script checks wide printf format strings (which are overlooked by gcc).
Independently, Benjamin wrote a printf checker for Mozilla printf-like code, see bug 493996.

Custom Sections in Object Files
We have long speculated about how nice it would be if Dehydra could emit info into object files that could then be yanked out of the resulting binary (by say, valgrind). bug 523435 will soon make that a reality.

Two photos from FSOSS.