Customize Rule Thresholds

Rule system in OCLint is designed to be very flexible and dynamic for various development cultures in many ways. Particularly, this document will go through customizing the behaviors of the rules by changing the thresholds.

Certain rules emit violations only when the metrics of the source code exceed the thresholds. For example, according to [McCabe76], a reasonable cyclomatic complexity number for a method should be less than 10. So, default threshold in CyclomaticComplexityRule is set to 10. However, this value may not be the best for a very project. For instance, a more sophisticated legacy codebase comes with high complexity, or on the other side, one team may in the middle of pushing a much more strict coding standard. For these cases, customizations can be achieved by changing thresholds.

Command Line Usages

Customizing thresholds by appending -rc <threshold_name>=<new_value> option to the command line invocation. Multiple ``-rc``s are accepted for changing more than one thresholds. When multiple values are given to the same threshold, the last one will be taken and overrides the default or existing custom values in the configuration files. For example, in order to change cyclomatic complexity number to 15, but to lower the long line to 50, following command can be given:


Configuration File

When the entire team shares the same standard, it’s recommended to define the thresholds in a configuration file, and check in the file into source code system. So that OCLint behaves consistently within the team. The section for changing thresholds is:

  - key: THRESHOLD_1
    value: new_value_1
  - key: THRESHOLD_2
    value: new_value_2

For the same example, changing cyclomatic complexity number to 15 and lowering the long line threshold to 50 can also be achieved by putting the following into project’s .oclint file:

    value: 15
  - key: LONG_LINE
    value: 50

Available Thresholds

Here is a list of all thresholds defined in OCLint 22.02:

Name Description Default
CYCLOMATIC_COMPLEXITY Cyclomatic complexity of a method 10
LONG_CLASS Number of lines for a C class or Objective-C interface, category, protocol, and implementation 1000
LONG_LINE Number of characters for one line of code 100
LONG_METHOD Number of lines for a method or function 50
LONG_VARIABLE_NAME Number of characters for a variable name 20
MAXIMUM_IF_LENGTH Number of lines for the if block that would prefer an early exists 15
MINIMUM_CASES_IN_SWITCH Count of case statements in a switch statement 3
NPATH_COMPLEXITY NPath complexity of a method 200
NCSS_METHOD Number of non-commenting source statements of a method 30
NESTED_BLOCK_DEPTH Depth of a block or compound statement 5
SHORT_VARIABLE_NAME Number of characters for a variable name 3
TOO_MANY_FIELDS Number of fields of a class 20
TOO_MANY_METHODS Number of methods of a class 30
TOO_MANY_PARAMETERS Number of parameters of a method 10

See also

OCLint configuration file
Documentation for OCLint configuration file
Rule Selection
Documentation of picking up the right rules for analysis
Write Own Rules
Documentation of modifying existing rule code or even write own rules to gain more capabilities.
[McCabe76]McCabe, T. J. (1976). A Complexity Measure. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, SE-2(4), 308-320. doi:10.1109/TSE.1976.233837