[Download] [Motivation] [Architecture] [Sample output] [SourceForge Project Site]
SourceMeter is a tool for calculating metrics on source code bases in any programming language. It provides a number of built-in metrics, but has also been designed to make the implementation of new metrics as simple as possible.
The tool has an easy-to-use command-line interface and generates tabular or semicolon-separated output that can easily be imported into spreadsheet or database software.
SourceMeter is entirely written in Java and does not depend on any components
other than a JVM.
A first release of the SourceMeter system is available in the project file release area.
Download SourceMeter v0.5
A significant amount of research in the field of software engineering has gone into software metrics. It is evident that software metrics are a useful tool for analysing code bases, assessing quality and ensuring standards.
Although there are commercial products for calculating and analysing software metrics, I am not aware of an open-source project that provides a general framework for capturing software metrics. What I have seen so far have been programs for calculating some specific metrics for some specific programming language.
The aim of the SourceMeter project is to provide an open-source framework,
implemented in Java, that provides basic services useful for all metrics, and
that includes some basic metrics that serve as examples and should in itself be
useful. Using the framework, it should be reasonably easy to write a class that
implements a new metric or group of metrics.
SourceMeter should be useful for people that want to gather metrics about their software
projects, but so far haven't done it because they were lacking a good (and
inexpensive) tool. The SourceMeter project could in turn benefit from people
who have implemented parsers or metrics and are willing to share them with
The envisioned SourceMeter architecture is as follows. A configuration file holds data about gauges. A gauge is a class that calculates one or more metrics. Gauges are pluggable by implementing a simple interface. Gauges define what parser they want to use. Parsers are also pluggable.
For example, a LineCounter gauge could calculate lines of code (LOC), using a simple LineParser that breaks the input source file into lines. Another gauge could use the same parser to calculate the non-empty lines of code (LOCNE). A more complex gauge could count the average method length for Java source files, using a Java parser.
The SourceMeter kernel provides a simple command-line interface. It recursively traverses a directory structure containing the source code and invokes a file processor for each file. The file processor identifies all gauges that are relevant for the file type (identified by the extension). It then invokes the cooresponding parsers, which generate parse events that are handled by the gauges. After all files have been processed, the kernel calculates aggregate data (sums, averages) for all directories hierarchically, ending in the grand totals for the root directory. The results are shown in the level of detail desired, and can be displayed or saved in tabular or CSV format.
Note that SourceMeter is only designed for 'static' metrics that can be
calculated from a specific version of the software. 'Dynamic' metrics, like
number of changes, bugs fixed, etc, that would need access to a version control
system are not in scope.
Example of directory-level output:
> sourcemeter -dir -metrics "FC LOT LOTNE JFLD" . FC Number of processed files LOT Lines of text LOTNE Non-empty lines of text JFLD Number of Java field definitions Dir FC LOT LOTNE JFLD root 5 485 383 - bin 1 28 19 - src - - - - sourcemeter 10 1,538 1,391 40 parser 1 34 29 0 java 7 9,649 9,004 209 parser 8 9,683 9,033 209 util 2 125 109 1 gauge 4 206 168 8 sourcemeter 24 11,552 10,701 258 src 33 22,028 20,480 489 root 39 22,541 20,882 489
Example of file-level output:
> sourcemeter -f -file -metrics "FC LOT LOTNE JFLD" src/sourcemeter FC Number of processed files LOT Lines of text LOTNE Non-empty lines of text JFLD Number of Java field definitions File FC LOT LOTNE JFLD root 10 1,538 1,391 40 FileProcessor.java 1 216 191 4 IParser.java 1 54 52 0 MetricDef.java 1 188 169 8 ResultWriter.java 1 225 206 4 OutputDef.java 1 88 78 7 Main.java 1 255 230 8 GaugeDef.java 1 144 128 4 MetricsNode.java 1 259 238 5 SourceMeterException.java 1 21 17 0 IGauge.java 1 88 82 0 root 10 1,538 1,391 40
Chris Broecker, 12 October 2001
The SourceMeter project is kindly hosted by SourceForge: