In this post, I’ll share a very simple tip on how to add very simple custom checks of your Android source code to your Jenkins build server, but the tip should be very easily ported to other build servers too.
Most developers know of Lint checks as something which perform some kind of static analysis of their code and which complain heavily about stuff if you are enabling this check for the first time on an old project. Unfortunately, chances are rather high that you choose to disable the check due to time constraints not allowing you to fix all issues right now. Or maybe you actually enable running the checks as part of your build but choose not to make lint errors break it. Those two solutions are equally bad since none of them prevent you from adding bad code to the codebase.
I won’t go to great lengths to explain why you should perform lint checks, but I’ll say that there are many, many simple checks which can be checked at compile-time and which you (or your colleagues) might not have noticed when implementing a given feature. And why not let the lint tool weed out the stupid errors since it is so much better at detecting these things than you? For example, lint checks can prevent you from publishing an app which crashes on some devices due to code calling APIs, which are not available on devices with too low versions of Android running on them. Lint will compare the minimum API version supported by your app and the API version of every call performed in your app so you can ensure that you have carefully guarded these calls correctly and therefore won’t crash your app at run-time.