Version 1.2 will hit hard!

Rubberduck has had a decent unit testing feature since 1.0. Version 1.1 introduced a concept of code inspections – a proof of concept really, a sketch of a vision of what we wanted Rubberduck to do with the VBA code in the IDE.

Upcoming version 1.2 has undergone massive changes in the parsing strategy – going from a home-made regex-based solution to a full-blown ANTLR [slightly modified] Visual Basic 6.0 grammar generating a lexer and parser. As a result, code inspection capabilities have gone exactly where we envisioned them from the start.

Here’s what version 1.2 can find in your VBA code (in alphabetical order):

  • Implicit ByRef parameter
  • Implicit Variant return type (function/property get)
  • Multiple declarations in single instruction
  • Function return value not assigned
  • Obsolete Call statement
  • Obsolete Rem statement
  • Obsolete Global declaration
  • Obsolete Let statement
  • Obsolete type hint
  • Option Base 1 is potentially confusing
  • Option Explicit is not specified
  • Parameter can be passed by value
  • Parameter is not used
  • Variable is never assigned
  • Variable is never used
  • Variable type is implicitly Variant

And we have more on their way! …and that’s just code inspections.

Version 1.2 also introduces a Refactor menu, which allows extracting a method out of any valid selection – and future versions will allow inlining a method into its call sites, renaming any identifier (and updating its usages), reording/removing parameters from a signature (and updating usages), promoting a local variable to module-level, or extracting a whole interface out of a class module’s members… and more.

Version 1.2 also introduces an API for VBA code to integrate with GitHub source control, through the very same technology that allows Visual Studio 2013 to integrate with GitHub, using LibGit2Sharp. At this stage it’s pretty much what code inspections were in version 1.1: a proof of concept – but in future versions, expect to be able to manage source control for your VBA projects in a way similar to how you manage source control for your .NET projects – within the IDE itself!

Rubberduck 1.2 will hit hard… and our duck is still but a little duckling: VBA will never be the same when it grows all its, uh, rubber.

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