[cad-linux-dev] Coverity Case Study: BRL-CAD Development Testing

  • From: Christopher Sean Morrison <brlcad@xxxxxxx>
  • To: brlcad-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 18:38:29 -0500

A little over a month ago at a week-long coffee-infused hack-a-thon in-person 
gathering, many of our core developers worked on improving BRL-CAD's source 
code. The team inspected and fixed more than fifteen hundred issues being 
reported by Coverity Static Analysis*.  Just released, the 2011 Coverity Open 
Source Integrity Report [1] includes a two-page case study detailing our 
efforts.  The free report is available (registration req'd) through the Open 
Scan Initiative website: http://scan.coverity.com

After five days of code crunching, the developers reduced BRL-CAD's defect 
density to less than 1/4th the industry average at approximately 0.22 defects 
per thousand lines of code (kloc).  Since then, the rate continues to be 
reduced as the devs work on addressing 100% of the issues being reported as 
part of ongoing code cleanup and other code hardening efforts [2].

More details about the Coverity annual report are provided on their blog [3] 
and in their press release [4].  The report includes a comparison of commercial 
software to open source with rather interesting results (spoiler: open source 
wins).

[1] 
http://softwareintegrity.coverity.com/coverity-scan-2011-open-source-integrity-report-registration.html
[2] http://brlcad.org/wiki/Code_Cleanup
[3] 
http://blog.coverity.com/uncategorized/coverity-releases-the-coverity-scan-2011-open-source-integrity-report/
[4] 
http://coverity.com/html/press/open-source-code-quality-on-par-with-proprietary-code-in-2011-coverity-scan-report.html

* Coverity Static Analysis is one of the best static source code analysis tools 
available in the industry with a false-positive rate less than 10%.  While 
normally and substantially paid-for software, Coverity provides cost-free 
scanning and consultative assistance to open source projects as part of the 
Open Scan Initiative.  The Open Scan Initiative was initiated in 2006 by the 
Department of Homeland Security and continues as infrastructure owned and 
operated by Coverity.


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