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1. Introduction

Complexity measurement tools provide several pieces of information. They help to:

  1. locate suspicious areas in unfamiliar code
  2. get an idea of how much effort may be required to understand that code
  3. get an idea of the effort required to test a code base
  4. provide a reminder to yourself. You may see what you’ve written as obvious, but others may not. It is useful to have a hint about what code may seem harder to understand by others, and then decide if some rework may be in order.

But why another complexity analyzer? Even though the McCabe analysis tool already exists (pmccabe), I think the job it does is too rough for gauging complexity, though it is ideal for gauging the testing effort. Each code path should be tested and the pmccabe program provides a count of code paths. That, however, is not the only issue affecting human comprehension. This program attempts to take into account other factors that affect a human’s ability to understand.

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