view doc/manywarnings.texi @ 17476:6057744acd2c default tip master

author Karl Berry <>
date Fri, 16 Aug 2013 06:32:22 -0700
parents d655bd302ece
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@node manywarnings
@section manywarnings

The @code{manywarnings} module allows you to enable as many GCC warnings as
possible for your package. The purpose is to protect against introducing new
code that triggers warnings that weren't already triggered by the existing code

An example use of the module is as follows:

# Set up the list of the pointless, undesired warnings.
nw="$nw -Wsystem-headers"       # Don't let system headers trigger warnings
nw="$nw -Wundef"                # All compiler preprocessors support #if UNDEF
nw="$nw -Wtraditional"          # All compilers nowadays support ANSI C
nw="$nw -Wconversion"           # These warnings usually don't point to mistakes.
nw="$nw -Wsign-conversion"      # Likewise.
# Enable all GCC warnings not in this list.
gl_MANYWARN_COMPLEMENT([warnings], [$warnings], [$nw])
for w in $warnings; do
@end smallexample

This module is meant to be used by developers who are not very experienced
regarding the various GCC warning options. In the beginning you will set the
list of undesired warnings (@samp{nw} in the example above) to empty, and
compile the package with all possible warnings enabled. The GCC option
@code{-fdiagnostics-show-option}, available in GCC 4.1 or newer, helps
understanding which warnings originated from which option. Then you will
go through the list of warnings. You will likely deactivate warnings that
occur often and don't point to mistakes in the code, by adding them to the
@samp{nw} variable, then reconfiguring and recompiling. When warnings point
to real mistakes and bugs in the code, you will of course not disable

There are also many GCC warning options which usually don't point to mistakes
in the code; these warnings enforce a certain programming style. It is a
project management decision whether you want your code to follow any of these
styles. Note that some of these programming styles are conflicting. You
cannot have them all; you have to choose among them.

When a new version of GCC is released, you can add the new warning options
that it introduces into the @code{gl_MANYWARN_ALL_GCC} macro (and submit your
modification to the Gnulib maintainers :-)), and enjoy the benefits of the
new warnings, while adding the undesired ones to the @samp{nw} variable.