PC-lint will check your C/C++ source code and find bugs, glitches, inconsistencies, non-portable constructs, redundant code, and much more. It looks across multiple modules, and so, enjoys a perspective your compiler does not have.
Special Checking Facilities:
- Value tracking of auto and static (even global) variable, to detect subtle initialisation and value misuse problems
- Inter-function Value Tracking -- The powerful inter-statement value tracking crosses function boundaries. Functions called with specific values are later processed, with these values used to initialise parameters.
- Multi-Pass -- To take full advantage of inter-function tracking and static variable tracking, a multi-pass operation has been introduced. The user can control the number of passes.
- with value tracking as an enabling technology, we support ‘semantics’ checking for almost 100 library functions, this checking can be extended to user functions
- optional strong
type checking (typedef-based) with a rich option set to detect nominal type differences. You can even form a fully checked type hierarchy of scalar types using only typedef
- user-defined semantic checking for function arguments and return values
- find unused macros, typedef's, classes, members, declarations, etc. across the entire project
- checks flow of control for possibly uninitialised variables.
- explicit support for a subset of the MISRA C and MISRA C++ (TM) (Motor Industry Software Reliability Association) standards
- other special torture tests
* New Version 9.0 - See the
from the Manual for detailed information.
- PC-lint for C/C++:
- Windows 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP / NT / 2000 / 98 / ME
- supports K&R C, ANSI C, ANSI/ISO C++
- explicit support for Microsoft, GNU and most other major compilers and libraries
- support for most major embedded-system compilers including bit addressing.
- numerous options to support rogue compilers
- scalars sizes can be specified for cross-compiling
- Multiple modules are processed at high speed using pre-compiled headers
Message Suppression and Enabling:
- by message number
- by message number and symbol name (including wild cards)
- by message number and symbol type
- by message number and message parameter
- one-line suppression
- by macro name
- for library headers, by message number (a header is library depending on how it is included; this can be overridden via user options)
- for specified functions, by message number
- for expressions
- indirect files (nested to any depth) can contain filenames, options, environment variables
- format of lint error messages can be customised to support integration with a wide variety of editors and IDEs
- all options can be embedded in user code
- fast one-pass operation, with a multi-pass option for inter-function value tracking
- robust - tables will expand as needed to handle large applications
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What is Static Analysis?
PC-lint will look across your entire program that may consist of many C and/or C++ modules and find bugs, glitches, inconsistencies, and redundancies. It can find problems that may not be caught in initial testing. Some bugs lie dormant for months and years and their ultimate eradication can be time consuming and expensive. It pays to expose errata while the code is still fresh in the mind of the programmer and while the original programmer is still employed by the company responsible for the software.
Won't my compiler do syntax checking?
Compilers do an excellent job of finding syntax errors and most will produce warnings. But PC-lint and FlexeLint begin where compilers leave off. PC-lint contains numerous features such as precision tracking, initialisation checking, value tracking, strong type checking and macro analysis that compilers do not have. Also PC-lint/FlexeLint looks across a set of modules to find intermodule inconsistencies and redundancies. This compilers do not do.
Does C++ make lint obsolete?
ANSI C and C++ have solved the problem for which Unix lint was originally developed, i.e., to ensure consistency of function calls across module boundaries. But most other sources of errors in C code remain in C++. These include uninitialised variables, order of evaluation dependencies, loss of precision, potential uses of the null pointer, etc. (See Representative Checks on the next page). In addition to problems inherited from C, C++ has added new opportunities and requirements for static checking. For example, it is now possible to report that a constructor has not initialised a member. This deficiency could not be reported for C code because responsibility for initialisation is not uniquely assigned to a given function (i.e. there are no constructors in C). There have been numerous articles and books on the C++ language written by such prominent authors as Cargill, Koenig, Murray and Myers describing numerous do’s and don’ts. Although it is a formidable task for even the expert to hand check each line of source code for conformity to accepted principles of good design, such checks can be automated and most have been incorporated in PC-lint.
How do I separate the wheat from the chaff?
We have taken several steps so that our users are not inundated by a mass of insignificant messages in which they may have no particular interest. All messages are carefully crafted to make use of all available information so that they have an inherently high wheat-to-chaff ratio. We have four levels of message (Error, Warning, Informational and Elective Note) and distinguish between two kinds of header (library headers vs. project headers). Messages can be suppressed by number, by symbol, by macro, by line and by header type. Through a selection of options, you in effect tailor your own subset of the C/C++ language.
On Windows, running the setup program will copy the PC-lint files onto your hard drive. Running the configuration wizard (config.exe) will configure PC-lint for your compiler, libraries, editors and IDEs. It may be run multiple times if you have multiple configurations you need support for. It will build a batch file for running PC-lint (lin.bat) and will invoke the appropriate PC-lint configuration files for your environment.
On MS-DOS and OS/2, run the install program and follow the directions.
By default, PC-lint is a console application and is run from the command line.
PC-lint can be run directly, by using a batch script, lin.bat, which is built for you by the config program, or it can be invoked from within a make file.
If you are using an editor or IDE, you may be able to set up PC-lint to run as a tool from within the IDE.
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