by Michael Edgar
What truly makes Ruby special as a language is its focus on expressivity, flexibility, and dynamism. Yet these same properties - and their widespread use in the community - make even straightforward application code difficult to analyze statically in a meaningful way.
Laser seeks to change that. As a general-purpose analyzer using traditional compiler techniques, it statically discovers properties of real-world Ruby programs that no existing tool can. This talk is a whirlwind tour of what Laser can do, how it does it, and what it means for a typical Ruby programmer (who doesn't want to litter his or her code with type annotations). Among the questions it attempts to answer:
Most importantly, Laser uses this information to find bugs and tell you about them, in addition to warning you about potential mistakes. It has a clear integration path with YARD and Redcar, as well as a possible future in optimization. On a broader scale, Laser exposes and builds upon the underlying strength and regularity of Ruby and modern Ruby techniques, without restricting Ruby's natural expressivity through static typing.
29th September to 1st October 2011