Nobody likes to read complex code, especially if it’s someone’s else code. A preventive approach to block any complex code entering the application is by watching its complexity carefully.
JSComplexity can be used online via its web interface. Just paste your code and it will show you the analysis result. Under the hood, JSComplexity uses Esprima to parse your code and get the abstract syntax tree (AST). The syntax tree is then traversed according to the complexity analysis algorithm. For command-line use, you can use complexity-report package for Node.js.
Of course, just like any other code metrics, code complexity should not be treated religiously. We also don’t have to think about complexity only in a one-dimensional way. In fact, correlating complexity with other variables usually reveals a much more useful insight. For example, plotting cyclomatic complexity vs time will display the dynamics of the code as the engineers refactor some parts or rewrite other stuff. Mapping complexity with different modules may give some hints as to which modules still need more TLC.
Use complexity measures to your advantage and hopefully you are better prepared in the battle zone!
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