First thoughts on Sorbet

3 June 2020

We started using Sorbet to add types to Galaxy's codebase. Types are great to catch type-related issues statically, and prevent them from blowing up on production. This tiny blog-post contains my impressions using it for the first time:

  • Sorbet has a great adoption process. It can load your codebase, analyze it, and add sigil annotations to the files.

  • After adopting it, I was able to run srb tc successfully. Sorbet flags some of the files as ignored, and lets you gradually change the granularity of the type checks. That means you can adopt types at your own pace.

  • The typecheck (srb tc) command runs incredibly fast and that makes it a good candidate to be part of your local development workflows.

  • I don't like the syntax for adding type annotations, but I don't dislike it either. It feels a bit detached from the implementation code. For example, for annotating a method, I'd expect something along the lines of:

    def my_method(x: String): String
  • It can use runtime reflection to generate Ruby Interface files for third-party gems.

Overall, the impression has been quite possitive. I don't many Ruby projects, but if I had to, I'd definitively set them up with Sorbet. If you are a Ruby developer and you haven't checked it out yet, I'd recommend you to give it a try in one of your projects.

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