Dialyzer is a tool that will detect discrepancies in your program. It does so using a technique known as success typing analysis which has the advantage of providing no false positives. Dialyzer is able to detect type errors, dead code and more.
Erlang.mk provides a wrapper around Dialyzer.
Dialyzer requires a PLT file to work. The PLT file contains the analysis information from all applications which are not expected to change, or rarely do. These would be all the dependencies of the application or applications you are currently working on, including standard applications in Erlang/OTP itself.
Dialyzer can generate this PLT file. Erlang.mk includes rules to automatically generate the PLT file when it is missing.
Once the PLT file is generated, Dialyzer can perform the analysis in record time.
In a typical usage scenario, no variable needs to be set.
The defaults should be enough. Do note however that the
dependencies need to be set properly using the
DIALYZER_PLT file indicates where the PLT file will
be written to (and read from). By default this is
$(PROJECT).plt in the project’s directory. Note that
DIALYZER_PLT variable is exported and is understood
by Dialyzer directly.
PLT_APPS variable can be used to add additional
applications to the PLT. You can either list application
names or paths to these applications.
Erlang.mk defines two variables for specifying options
for the analysis:
The former one defines which directories should be part
of the analysis. The latter defines what extra warnings
Dialyzer should report.
Note that Erlang.mk enables the race condition warnings by default. As it can take considerably large resources to run, you may want to disable it on larger projects.
To perform an analysis, run the following command:
$ make dialyze
This will create the PLT file if it doesn’t exist.
The analysis will also be performed when you run the following command, alongside tests:
$ make check
You can use the
plt target to create the PLT file if
it doesn’t exist. This is normally not necessary as
Dialyzer creates it automatically.
The PLT file will be removed when you run
By default Erlang.mk will run Dialyzer against the source
code. It is possible to configure Erlang.mk to use the
compiled source files instead. This is done using the
DIALYZER_DIRS = -r ebin
This value must be set before including Erlang.mk to function properly.