Jesse Tilly at Memphis JUG

This month’s Memphis Java Users’ Group meeting featured Jesse Tilly of IBM Rational Software, who spoke to us on static analysis. He will be doing a more product-intensive session, “What is IBM® Rational® Software Analyzer® Telling Me?”, at the upcoming IBM Rational Software Conference. (Don’t be misled by all those “circle-R”s; I just linked to the title from the conference web site.)

For our meeting, Jesse left the branding iron at home. He began with an overview of the history and benefits of static analysis. The major portion of the presentation offered a practical approach to analysis as part of a development project, including a detailed how-to on interpreting and using analysis results. Jesse finished with return to history, drawing unexpected parallels with the analysis of Enigma traffic at Bletchley Park during WWII—the background for Allen Turing‘s later theoretical work that led to the computers we program today.

Because Jesse had an early flight, our regular door-prize drawing followed his presentation. In our lightning talk segment, Matt Stine introduced Morph AppSpace, I presented on “Structured Functional Programming” (pdf here), and Walter Heger gave a quick look at jGears.

Recommended reading:

Encryption and cryptanalysis are deeply entwined with computing, whether in history(Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park) or in imagination (Cryptonomicon).

Two highly-respected tools for static analysis in Java are FindBugs and PMD; both web sites offer excellent documentation and other reference material.

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