Today I Learned

A Hashrocket project

Mix xref and Elixir compiler warnings

The release of Elixir v1.3 added a mix task called xref for performing cross reference checks of your code. mix xref gives us some handy tools!

Find unreachable code:

❯ mix xref unreachable
lib/exonk8s/foo.ex:16: SomeModule.non_existant/0

Find callers of modules and functions:

❯ mix xref callers SomeModule
lib/exonk8s/foo.ex:16: SomeModule.non_existant/0

Generate a dependency graph:

> mix xref graph
lib/exonk8s.ex
├── lib/exonk8s/repo.ex
└── lib/router.ex
    └── lib/exonk8s/musician_controller.ex (compile)
        ├── lib/exonk8s/foo.ex
        ├── lib/exonk8s/musician.ex
        └── lib/exonk8s/repo.ex
...snipped for brevity

The release of Elixir v1.6 added the module attribute @deprecated to enable library authors to warn users of deprecated functions.

❯ mix xref deprecated
Compiling 2 files (.ex)
Foo Loaded
warning: ExOnK8s.Foo.lazy/0 is deprecated. You should be more eager.
  lib/exonk8s/musician_controller.ex:10

lib/exonk8s/musician_controller.ex:10: ExOnK8s.Foo.lazy/0

Lastly I should note that xref deprecated and xref unreachable are included in the compiler warnings, so you you’ve likely seen these at work even if you didn’t know they were there.

Learn more

Looking for help? Elixir is quickly gaining momentum for web applications that need concurrency, performance, and the ability to connect to many different clients. The developers at Hashrocket are learning along with the rest of the development community that Elixir and Phoenix are viable Rails alternatives for the right application. Check out the source code for Today I Learned, written in Elixir, and contact us if you need help with your Elixir project.