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Testable JavaScript by Mark Ethan Trostler

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Chapter 2. Complexity

Complex: bad. Simple: good. We touched on this already, and it’s still true. We can measure complexity with some accuracy via static analysis. Measures such as JSLint, cyclomatic complexity, lines of code, and fan-in and fan-out are important. However, nothing measures complexity as accurately as showing your code to a coworker or colleague.

Code can be complex for a number of reasons, from the serious “this is a hairy algorithm” to the mundane “a JavaScript newbie wrote it and it’s nasty,” and everything in between. Analyzing the complexity of static code is a great starting point toward creating testable JavaScript.

Maintainable JavaScript is clear, consistent, and standards-based. Testable JavaScript is loosely coupled, short, and isolatable. The magic happens when your code is both maintainable and testable. Since you will spend about 50% of your time testing and debugging your code, which is significantly more time than you will spend coding it, you might as well make code maintenance as easy on yourself and others as possible.

Complexity is the bane of every software project. While some complexity is unavoidable, in many cases complexity can be avoided. Being able to recognize which parts of your application are complex, and understanding why, will allow you to reduce its overall complexity. As always, recognizing the problem is the first step toward fixing it.

It is also important to note that the algorithms your code relies on may be complex as well. In ...

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