Linting uninitialized field dereference in Java

 •  Filed under java

Am I out of my mind for thinking that some linter or other should be able to recognize the following code as buggy?


public class Main {

    public String greeting = "hey";

    private Main anotherMain;

    public Main getAnotherMain() {
        return anotherMain;

    public void setAnotherMain(Main main) {
        this.anotherMain = main;

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Main main = new Main();

I expect a linter to tell me that the unchecked dereference main.getAnotherMain().greeting could produce an NPE because anotherMain defaults to null.

I tried SpotBugs, NullAway, and the IntelliJ static checker, and none of them can catch this. Bug filed against SpotBugs. We'll see how it goes.