lclint-interest message 189

From Tue Feb 17 12:38:16 1998
X-Authentication-Warning: 100566.1506 owned process doing -bs
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 20:07:37 +0100 (CET)
From: Hermann Kleier <>
To: lclint-interest 
Subject: new member introduction
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My name is Hermann Kleier and I am into C-programming since 15 years.  There are
several reasons for me to look for lint-like tools:

(1) I have moved from platform to platform (CP/M, MS-DOS, OS-9 (not OS/2), 
    SCO-UNIX, Linux).  I learned that the portability of C is limited as long as
    you do not care about it.  At work I often have to write programs which are
    used on platforms that I never used (SCO XENIX, HP 3000, ...).  This is why
    portability is so important for me and debugging sometimes is not available
    at all.

(2) To improve the consistency between documentation and implementation I used
    D.E.Knuth's web-language (literate programming).  web has nothing to do with
    the WWW. The name is derived from the weaving process of documentation and
    implementation which are stored close together in the same file.  After a
    hard learning phase and setting up the environment the overhead is moderate
    and the quality of the documentation grows dramatically.

    By thoroughly writing down what I was doing I found design flaws rather than
    implementation bugs.   The quality of the implementation improved quite a

(3) Since five years I am using Gimpel's FlexeLint.  This is THE tool for
    finding implementation bugs.  I estimate that I find about 30 % of the bugs
    before wasting time for debugging.

Now I am new to LcLint.  This tools differs quite a lot from Knuth's web and
>from FlexeLint, but I hope it can serve the same purpose.  My first impressions
(likes/dislikes are:

(1) In-line program information is passed to the lints (like FlexeLint or the
    traditional lint) by control-comments. I feel that the comments are too
    close to the program and too cryptic to read.  The program becomes too
    fragmented, the granularity is too small:

       /*lint -esym(528,rcsid) */
     /*@unused@*/ static char rcsid [] __attribute__ ((unused)) =
       "$Revision: 1.6 $ $Source: /home/hermann/curr/ftcod/src/RCS/pack.c,v $";

    These comments introduce a lot of noise in the source.  LcLint behaves like
    the other lints.  Anyway, the programs are still portable.

(2) One thing I do not like at all is a tool that forces me to change the
    structure of the program sources.  Traditionally C programs are written as
    .c and .h-files.  This is a must to be portable.  For LcLint project
    this means, that you cannot pass the .lcl-files and the .h-files. You have
    to assemble the .h and the .lh-files.  Because this can be done
    automatically this item is not an issue.  But is maks the development
    environment more complicated.

(3) What I really like about LcLint is the EXTERNAL formal specification.  I can
    write constraints and define properties of a module/function at one place.
    This is readable.  (I feel that this resource should be embedded together
    with the documentation and the implementation in a single file to improve

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University of Virginia, Computer Science