Developing code formatters is notoriously hard and scalafmt has been no exception.
The following are the biggest known issues with scalafmt:
Deeply nested code
AKA. "Search state exploded"
0.5.0 made big improvements on this issue. In my test corpus, only 13 out of 27.000 source files trigger this error now.
Scalafmt cannot yet format all files with deeply nested functions calls. Deeply nested code is troublesome because the number of possible formatting options grows exponentially with each new layer of nesting. Instead of taking seconds or minutes to complete formatting, scalafmt chooses to bail early and leave the source file unformatted.
There are two workaround if you are affected by this issue:
Wrap the offending block with
// format: off. The sbt/IntelliJ/CLI integrations should point you to the line where scalafmt starts to struggle.
align.openParenCallSite = falseto shrink the search space.
Refactor your code to eliminate deeply nested function calls. Binding large function arguments to variables is a good start.
Other cool code formatters like ClangFormat, dartfmt and rfmt use better techniques to solve this issue, which scalafmt can maybe learn from.
Scalafmt is non-idempotent for certain files. See https://github.com/scalameta/scalafmt/issues/339. This means you should be careful about enforcing scalafmt in your CI build.
In my test corpus, as of v0.5.0, only 12 files out of 27.000 source files are affected by this issue. If sources are already formatted by scalafmt, no source file in the test corpus triggers non-idempotent formatting.
Pro tip. As awkward as I feel recommending this, you may want to run scalafmt twice on your codebase for the first time you reformat it.
Scalafmt is 6x slower than Scalariform. For 98% of source files this won't be a problem if you have a decently modern laptop. However, if you only work in files with 4.000 LOC it might be a problem. I'm quite sure that micro-optimizations can squeeze out at least ~2x performance improvements, maybe even more. Moreover, I think incremental formatting has the possibility to increase the performance by several orders of magnitude in interactive IDE environments where scalafmt is invoked on file save.