What is code linting and what does it mean?

25 November 2020

Code limiting is a term that you might have probably heard about. We will see an overview of what is code linting and see the exact meaning for the same. We will also see the advantages of using a code linter.

What is Code Linitng?

Code linting is a process of analyzing the code automatically to check programmatic and stylistic errors. Code linting is a process to improve your code. Of course, the entire process is automated and requires a tool. That tool is called a Linter (lint tool). It’s a static code analyzer that can quickly analyze the complete code and then point out the errors wherever needed.

A Brief Overview about Linters

Now, let’s get into a little more in-depth. The term Lint came into existence because of the unit utility called lint. It was only for the C language. The main aim of the tool was to check and analyze the code. Later on, it will point out the places where compiler optimizations are possible. This will improve the performance of the code. At first, the tool could only point to limited optimization checks. However, it has increased a lot with the development. Now, a linter can easily analyze the code and point out the programmatic as well as stylistic errors. The linters are mostly useful for interpretable languages like Javascript and Python. However, you can also use it for compiler language.

Why use a Linter?

A linter will simply check the complete code and help you improve the code. Along with this, it also helps your code with the following.

  • Syntax error
  • Code standard
  • Regular compiler optimization checks
  • Potential problems
  • Code conventions and code formatting
  • Security checks
  • Of course, you would have got the idea of why linter is needed. There are many types of linters that you can get. Either you can use a basic linter or you can also go with the advanced formatting. Further, you can also get a linter for a specific type. For example, you can go with a security linter, code formatting, etc. It’s surely your choice which type of linter you want to use.

Advantages of Linter

Here are some of the advantages you will get if you are using Linter.

  • Very few errors in the production
  • Optimized code
  • The quality of the code will be better
  • It can point out security errors
  • Better code style
  • Readable code for coding standard
  • Better performance
  • Easy to modify and edit the code

Final Words

To conclude, this was all about code linting and what does it mean. You can surely use a linter for many languages. It is mostly preferred by C, C++, JavaScript, and similar languages. So, if you are working on any of these languages, you can surely use a linter. This will help you in writing better code and your code will be easier to read and modify. Of course, there are some disadvantages too. However, if you choose a better code linting tool, the disadvantages will be very few.

George Buckley code analysis expert
George Buckley