Code Smells in Elixir: Early Results from a Grey Literature Review

16 Mar 2022  ·  Lucas Francisco da Matta Vegi, Marco Tulio Valente ·

Elixir is a new functional programming language whose popularity is rising in the industry. However, there are few works in the literature focused on studying the internal quality of systems implemented in this language. Particularly, to the best of our knowledge, there is currently no catalog of code smells for Elixir. Therefore, in this paper, through a grey literature review, we investigate whether Elixir developers discuss code smells. Our preliminary results indicate that 11 of the 22 traditional code smells cataloged by Fowler and Beck are discussed by Elixir developers. We also propose a list of 18 new smells specific for Elixir systems and investigate whether these smells are currently identified by Credo, a well-known static code analysis tool for Elixir. We conclude that only two traditional code smells and one Elixir-specific code smell are automatically detected by this tool. Thus, these early results represent an opportunity for extending tools such as Credo to detect code smells and then contribute to improving the internal quality of Elixir systems.

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Code Smells in Elixir