April 11, 2014

Useful Scalac Flags

So, there have been some discussions and angry tweets recently about irritating Scala “features” (like value discarding and auto-tupling) that can actually be turned off by selecting the right compiler flag in conjunction with -Xfatal-warnings. I highly recommend a set of options something like those below.

scalacOptions ++= Seq(
  "-encoding", "UTF-8",       // yes, this is 2 args
  "-Ywarn-dead-code",        // N.B. doesn't work well with the ??? hole
  "-Ywarn-unused-import"     // 2.11 only

If you’re like me and you find that the standard library gets in the way (especially Predef implicits) you might consider one of these (you don’t need both):

  "-Yno-predef"   // no automatic import of Predef (removes irritating implicits)
  "-Yno-imports"  // no automatic imports at all; all symbols must be imported explicitly

… which inspired this contribution from @timperrett

I also recommend keeping an eye on warteremover which casts a wider net and disables many other unsafe features such as null and return. If you try it out and find it’s hitting false positives (generally with synthetic code) please file a bug report. We’re working on it!


Sukant Hajra has more energy than I do and finally got to the bottom of the -Xlint and -Ywarn-all flags and found that although they are not the same from version to version, they are identical, which is probably a copy/paste bug. Here’s the relevant code from 2.9.3 and 2.10.3 if you want to see for yourself.

Brian McKenna points out that “only good things happen with -Xfuture” so it’s now on the list above. Thanks for the tip.

Gary Pamparà notes that -Ywarn-unused-import is available in 2.11, so it’s now on the list as well.