auto-check good API ?

Lubos Lunak l.lunak at
Wed Aug 25 19:47:26 BST 2004

On Wed 25. of August 2004 15:38, Philippe Fremy wrote:
>  Hi all,
> I just listened to Mathias's akademy presentation (I wish I were there)
> about Qt API. There was a question about whether checking for a good API
> design could be automated. The answer of Mathias was that it is not
> possible but actually, I think it can.
> Let's take the QProgressBar of the presentation. In the correct version, we
> see that a lot of methods have a common root in their name, while in the
> bad version, many different names are used and one can not speak of a root.
> An automated tool could take a class, and compare each method names to
> eachother. If they match a lot, then the API looks consistent. If the names
> are completely different, then there is probably something wrong with the
> class. There is a metric to be found to report that but one can definitely
> do something.

 KGlobal: failed
 KIconEffect: failed
 KTempDir: failed
 KTempFile: failed
 KSaveFile: failed
 KAbout* : failed

> The same name comparison could be done with class to class comparisons. If
> lot of classes share the same names and methods, then the whole API is
> consistent. Else, the API is not.
> One could also automatically check for methods that use a lot of bool too.
> Even if such a tool could not be trusted blindly, it could certainly help
> to find places where the KDE API is not so good, and to measure its
> progress.

 Just similar names don't make or not make good API, and you'd have to do so 
much manual post-processing that you could do it as well directly without any 

> So, who wants to write that to help for KDE 4 ?

 I guess that'd have to be you.

 Lubos Lunak
 KDE Developer

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