Hunting the Shmoo

Screencasts and blog posts on workflow, productivity, tools, Mozilla and whatever else tickles my fancy.

Hide Your Lint Errors

Have you ever submitted a patch to Phabricator only to have reviewbot reveal dozens of lint errors all over? Or worse yet, have you landed before reviewbot had a chance to analyze your patch and been backed out over lint failures? If so fear not, we’ve all been there. Still, it’s hard not to feel a little embarrassed when it happens. Luckily for you, it’s pretty easy to eliminate the possibility of it ever happening again!

There are many places where one might want to run linters. In an editor for early and rapid feedback. At commit or submit time in case you forgot to run it in an editor. At review time in case you forgot to run it before submitting. Finally in CI in case all of the above fails. The key area to focus on here is at submit time. While running linters in your editor or at commit time can be beneficial, it’s at submission that you’ll want to have your backstop. That way you will be only person to ever know how many lint mistakes you let slip!

Mozlint supports linting files that have been touched in version control. Both outgoing changes that don’t exist upstream (via ./mach lint --outgoing) and changes in your working directory that haven’t been committed yet (via ./mach lint --workdir). At submit time, --outgoing is all we need. But how should you run it?

Back in the reviewboard days, we used to recommend setting up a VCS hook. But now that the moz-phab tool uploads a diff of your changes rather than pushing to a review repo, that no longer works. And while you could still technically use a commit hook, I find ./mach lint isn’t performant enough given how often I commit things. In the end, I use a simple shell alias:

alias review="mach lint -o && moz-phab submit"

Add the above to your ~/.bashrc or equivalent. Now instead of running moz-phab submit to submit to Phabricator, run review and you’ll never accidentally submit with a lint error again.