Report on lint-like tools for C++

Report on lint-like tools for C++

Post by Scott Meyer » Sat, 12 Oct 1996 04:00:00

In June I posted asking for information on lint-like tools for C++,
because Martin Klaus and I are investigating such tools' capabilities.
We have now completed the first part of that investigation, and the
results will be published in the January 1997 issue of Dr. Dobbs
Journal.  In lieu of a posting summarizing the information I got from my
earlier request for information, Martin and I are making a
pre-publication draft of the paper available on the world wide web.
Here is the URL:

Due to space constraints in the magazine, this on-line document is
actually more comprehensive than the published report will be, and its
links give it a more immediate flavor than it will have in print.
However, we are withholding one table from the on-line paper until the
magazine appears, because DDJ has what we consider to be a legitimate
commercial interest in providing information to its readers that hasn't
been available for several weeks on the Net.  We believe the on-line
paper remains quite informative even without the table, and certainly it
is more useful than most newsgroup summary postings.  At any rate, the
table will be made available on-line as soon as the magazine comes out,
probably sometime in early December.

If you have questions or comments on the paper, please direct them to

and away from my email for several weeks.

Thanks for your help with our research.  We hope you enjoy the paper.



1. lint-like tools for C++?

Martin Klaus and I are undertaking an examination of lint-like tools
designed for C++ programs, i.e., tools that look for suspect usage of
C++ features in source code and issue appropriate warnings.  Examples
of such likely errors might include declaration of public data
members or failure to declare a virtual destructor in a base class.  

We have identified the following vendors and tools as candidates for
our study:

    Abraxas Software:              CodeCheck      
    Centerline Software:           C++Expert      
    Gimpel Software                Flexelint/PC-Lint
    HP:                            CodeAdvisor    
    ParaSoft:                      CodeWizard
    Programming Research:          QA/C++        
    Productivity Through Software: ProLint        

If you have personal experience with any of these tools, or if you
know of additional tools that check C++ usage that are not listed
here, I'd greatly appreciate it if you'd send me mail about it.

Note that we are only interested in tools that provide nontrivial
support for C++ source code.  We do not wish to consider tools that deal
only with the C subset of C++, nor are we much interested in tools that
focus on a program's dynamic behavior (e.g., monitors of memory usage).

Thanks for your help,


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