“SoftWipe” – open-source tool and benchmark to assess the quality of scientific software

5. July 2021

Digital tools are essential in almost all scientific disciplines. Reliable, carefully developed software is particularly important when large amounts of research data accumulate and must be processed quickly to analyze the data and interpret it correctly – for example in biology, physics or currently also in epidemiology. To evaluate the software quality automatically, the Computational Molecular Evolution (CME) group designed the “SoftWipe” tool.

SoftWipe – tool and benchmark for assessing coding standards’ adherence

SoftWipe is a pipeline, written in Python3, that predominantly uses freely available static and dynamic code analyzers to assess the code quality of software written in C/C++. SoftWipe initially compiles the software and subsequently executes the software to detect potential errors. Using the output of the static code analyzers, SoftWipe computes a score for each static analyzer and then outputs an overall score.

The tool is available on GitHub: https://github.com/adrianzap/softwipe


Paper: Zapletal, A., Höhler, D., Sinz, C. et al.: The SoftWipe tool and benchmark for assessing coding standards adherence of scientific software. Sci Rep 11, 10015 (2021).

Press Release: https://www.h-its.org/2021/05/21/cme-softwipe/

About HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.

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