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Perl::Critic::Policy::Modules::ProhibitExcessMainComplexity - Minimize complexity in code
that is outside of subroutines.
This Policy is part of the core Perl::Critic distribution.
All else being equal, complicated code is more error-prone and more expensive to maintain
than simpler code. The first step towards managing complexity is to establish formal
complexity metrics. One such metric is the McCabe score, which describes the number of
possible paths through a block of code. This Policy approximates the McCabe score by
summing the number of conditional statements and operators within a block of code.
Research has shown that a McCabe score higher than 20 is a sign of high-risk, potentially
untestable code. See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclomatic_complexity> for some
discussion about the McCabe number and other complexity metrics.
Whereas Perl::Critic::Policy::Subroutines::ProhibitExcessComplexity scores the complexity
of each subroutine, this Policy scores the total complexity of all the code that is
outside of any subroutine declaration.
The usual prescription for reducing complexity is to refactor code into smaller
subroutines. Mark Dominus book "Higher Order Perl" also describes callbacks, recursion,
memoization, iterators, and other techniques that help create simple and extensible Perl
The maximum acceptable McCabe score can be set with the "max_mccabe"
configuration item. If the sum of all code outside any subroutine has a McCabe score
higher than this number, it will generate a Policy violation. The default is 20. An
example section for a .perlcriticrc:
max_mccabe = 30
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler."
-- Albert Einstein
Complexity is subjective, but formal complexity metrics are still incredibly valuable.
Every problem has an inherent level of complexity, so it is not necessarily optimal to
minimize the McCabe number. So don't get offended if your code triggers this Policy.
Just consider if there might be a simpler way to get the job done.
Jeffrey Ryan Thalhammer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Copyright (c) 2005-2011 Imaginative Software Systems. All rights reserved.
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same
terms as Perl itself. The full text of this license can be found in the LICENSE file
included with this module.
perl v5.16.3 Perl::Critic::Policy::Modules::ProhibitExcessMainComplexity(3)
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