Re: errors and the compile cycle (not about ignorant newbie... :) (Richard A. O'Keefe)
1 Mar 1997 21:45:50 -0500

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From: (Richard A. O'Keefe)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 1 Mar 1997 21:45:50 -0500
Organization: Comp Sci, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
References: 97-01-258 97-02-081 97-02-090 97-02-155
Keywords: errors, practice

Jacek Chorobinski <> writes:
>You say that your hardware is
>so fast, that it lets you to start the compiler after fixing each
>error. Computer you're using must be at least Alpha Server then. For
>me one of the main problems about debugging is restarting the
>compilation after having one or a few bugs fixed, and the time it
>consumes. This is visible mostly when compiling long files. I don't
>have a slow processor - it's P133.

I note that when I am typing up C code these days, my cycle goes like
        do {
do {
top foo.w
nuweb foo.w
lcc -A -A foo.c
} while (obvious errors);
lclint foo.c
        } while (harder errors);
Nuweb's fast enough that there's no temptation to maintain the .c directly,
and it emits #line directives.
lcc is _very_ fast.
lclint is not fast, even on a SuperSPARC, but it's very thorough, and
I'm not using it to check for syntax errors.

> And a funny example: The previous week someone asked me to
>write a small program under Pascal, language I haven't used for over 3
>years. You can't imagine how many {}brackets I had to change to
>"begin" "end" or how numerous were the semicolons I forgot to place at
>the end of procedure headers. If that compiler stopped after reporting
>a single bug, then I probably would have to spend the whole day fixing
>the code.

Well, in my experience of switching between C and Ada, if the compiler
points out one such mistake, that tells me all I need to know to find
the remaining instances of that kind with the editor. (Actually, I think
my commonest Ada mistake is Pascal interference: forgetting to put 'is'
in the header. I don't _need_ the compiler to find these for me, just to
remind me that I've got at least one.)

> Sure. But do you REALLY have no use of further error messages?
>If so, then simply get some compiler that doesn't generate it. Or...

>> Or give me a command line option for this.

> Yes. This solution will satisfy everybody.

Well, on a UNIX system, you can always pipe the compiler messages through
a filter...

Richard A. O'Keefe;; RMIT Comp.Sci.

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