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Published : Oct 27, 2021
This blip is not on the current edition of the Radar. If it was on one of the last few editions, it is likely that it is still relevant. If the blip is older, it might no longer be relevant and our assessment might be different today. Unfortunately, we simply don't have the bandwidth to continuously review blips from previous editions of the Radar. Understand more
Oct 2021
Assess ?

This edition of the Radar introduces two tools that search and replace code using an abstract syntax tree (AST) representation. They occupy a similar space as jscodeshift but contain parsers for a wide range of programming languages. Although they share some similarities, they also differ in several ways. One of these tools, Comby, is unique in its simple, command-line interface designed in the spirit of Unix tools such as awk and sed. While the Unix commands are based on regular expressions operating matching text, Comby employs a pattern syntax that is specific to programming language constructs and parses the code before searching. This helps developers search large code bases for structural patterns. Like sed, Comby can replace the patterns it matches with new structures. This is useful for automating wholesale changes to large codebases or for making repetitive changes across a suite of microservice repositories. Since these tools are fairly new, we expect to see a range of creative uses that have yet to be discovered.

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