Mailinglist Archive: yast-devel (127 mails)

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Re: [yast-devel] Ruby 'next' considered dangerous
On Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:01:30 +0100
Stefan Hundhammer <shundhammer@xxxxxxx> wrote:

We just had to deal with a P1 bug caused by a stray 'next' statement
in the Ruby code that did not return a value:

We seem to have a large number of such 'next' statements in our code.
Everybody please be aware that this can cause great trouble in
certain iterator methods that expect a return value from their code

In this case, it was Hash::reduce(). If you simply call 'next' in its
loop, it will merrily clobber its accumulator with 'nil', very likely
causing a crash in the next loop iteration.

IMHO it's sad that we do have tools that enforce stuff like one
newline too many between function definitions, but critical things
like not returning a value from a block that is required to return
one goes completely unnoticed. And we were even lucky that our QA
caught this problem, not some unsuspecting customer in the field.

What can we do to improve this?

I suggest some Ruby experts to collect all such functions that are
potentially in danger of this problem and then grep through the code
where they are used, and if any similar 'next' without a required
return value is used. But that's just a one-time effort. Maybe there
is some tool out there that can automate that for us.

Kind regard

well, there is already quite powerful parsers and I believe it won't be
so hard to improve rubocop to check it. On other hand it is exactly
same problem as using return without value. So for me it is same as
def recursive
return unless funny_condition

if a == 1
return obj
return obj.recursive

And to be honest it can happen in any code in any language ( just
depending how often it can happen ).
E.g. in ycp one nil can result in cascade of nils.

What is ruby philosophy how to solve it? Tests. Do not trust code that
is not tested. Of course some tools can detect some misusage, but only
good tests can prove that code really works.

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