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    tern-lint is a tern plugin which is able to validate JavaScripts files to collect semantic errors. It is static type checker like flow. It's the main difference with other famous linters like JSHint, ESLint, JSCS which validate JavaScript files to collect syntax errors.

    What do you mean with semantic errors? Invalid argument is a sample of semantic error :

    Invalid Argument

    See Validation rules for more informations.

    tern-lint is able to use JSDoc annotations for the validation :

    Type mismatch by using JSDoc

    See Validation with JSDoc for more informations.

    tern-lint provides :

    • the tern lint plugin lint.js to validate JavaScript files.
    • the CodeMirror lint addon tern-lint.js which uses tern lint plugin lint.js
    • the bin/lint to use tern lint with command line.


    tern-lint can be used :

    See Usage for more informations.


    Today several JavaScript editors supports tern-lint :

    CodeMirror :

    Here a screenshot with tern lint and CodeMirror :

    CodeMirror & TernLint

    Eclipse :

    If you are Eclipse user, you can use the tern lint.js too. See Tern IDE & Validation

    Eclipse & TernLint


    Emacs & TernLint

    See tern-lint.el for more information.


    Atom & TernLint

    See atom-ternjs for more information.

    Other editors

    If you wish to integrate the tern lint with an editor (Vim, Sublime, etc), here the JSON request to post to the tern server :

     "query": {
      "type": "lint",
      "file": "test.js",
      "files": [
        "name": "test.js",
        "text": "var elt = document.getElementByIdXXX('myId');",
        "type": "full"

    and the JSON response of the tern server :

     "messages": [
       "message": "Unknow property 'getElementByIdXXX'",
       "from": 19,
       "to": 36,
       "severity": "warning"

    Command line

    Install tern-lint with npm like this :

    $ npm install -g tern-lint

    Go at in your folder which contains your JavaScripts files to validate :

    $ cd your/folder/which/contains/javascript/files

    Execute the lint :

    $ lint --format

    The shell window should display errors like this :

     "messages": [
       "message": "Unknow property 'getElementByIdXXX'",
       "from": 19,
       "to": 36,
       "severity": "warning"

    See Command Line for more informations.

    Validation rules


    tern lint validate JS files but not syntax errors, it manages those validation rules :

    • unknown property. (ex : document.getElementByIdXXX where getElementByIdXXX is an unknown property of document)
    • unknown identifier. (ex : a = '' where a is an unknown identifier)
    • not a function (ex : var a = []; a.length() is not valid because length of array is not a function)
    • invalid argument (ex : document.getElementById(1000) is not valid because 1000 is a number and not a string)

    See Validation rules for more informations.


    You can develop a custom lint to validate anything. Here a list of tern plugin which provides custom lint :


    The basic structure of the project is given in the following way:

    • bin/ contains the lint command to use tern-lint with command line.
    • codemirror/ contains the CodeMirror lint addon tern-lint.js, which is an implementation of CodeMirror lint addon with tern-lint.
    • demos/ demos with tern lint plugin which use CodeMirror.
    • lint.js the tern lint plugin.
    • test/ contains test of tern lint plugin.




    npm i tern-lint

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    • angelozerr