Go Doc

Reports deeply nested if statements in Go code, by calculating its complexities based on the rules defined by the Cognitive Complexity white paper by G. Ann Campbell.

It helps you find if statements that make your code hard to read, and clarifies which parts to refactor.


By go get

go get

By golangci-lint

nestif is already integrated with golangci-lint. Please refer to the instructions there and enable it.


Quick Start


The ... glob operator is supported, and the above is an equivalent of:

nestif ./...

One or more files and directories can be specified in a single command:

nestif dir/foo.go dir2 dir3/...

Packages can be specified as well:



usage: nestif [<flag> ...] <Go files or directories or packages> ...
  -e, --exclude-dirs strings   regexps of directories to be excluded for checking; comma-separated list
      --json                   emit json format
      --min int                minimum complexity to show (default 1)
      --top int                show only the top N most complex if statements (default 10)
  -v, --verbose                verbose output


Let's say you write:

package main

func _() {
    if foo {
        if bar {

    if baz == "baz" {
        if qux {
            if quux {

And give it to nestif:

$ nestif foo.go
foo.go:9:2: `if baz == "baz"` is nested (complexity: 3)
foo.go:4:2: `if foo` is nested (complexity: 1)

Note that the results are sorted in descending order of complexity. In addition, it shows only the top 10 most complex if statements by default, and you can specify how many to show with -top flag.


It calculates the complexities of if statements according to the nesting rules of Cognitive Complexity. Since the more deeply-nested your code gets, the harder it can be to reason about, it assesses a nesting increment for it:

if condition1 {
    if condition2 { // +1
        if condition3 { // +2
            if condition4 { // +3

else and else if increase complexity by one wherever they are because the mental cost has already been paid when reading the if:

if condition1 {
    if condition2 { // +1
        if condition3 { // +2
        } else if condition4 { // +1
    } else { // +1
        if condition5 { // +3

Inspired by

Further reading

Please see the Cognitive Complexity: A new way of measuring understandability white paper by G. Ann Campbell for more detail on Cognitive Complexity.


Detect deeply nested if statements in Go source code

Nestif Info

⭐ Stars 12
🔗 Source Code
🕒 Last Update a year ago
🕒 Created 2 years ago
🐞 Open Issues 1
➗ Star-Issue Ratio 12
😎 Author nakabonne