• Checking Clang 11 with PVS-Studio

      PVS-Studio: I'm still worthy

      Every now and then, we have to write articles about how we've checked another fresh version of some compiler. That's not really much fun. However, as practice shows, if we stop doing that for a while, folks start doubting whether PVS-Studio is worth its title of a good catcher of bugs and vulnerabilities. What if the new compiler can do that too? Sure, compilers evolve, but so does PVS-Studio – and it proves, again and again, its ability to catch bugs even in high-quality projects such as compilers.
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    • Using Flex (Fast Lexical Analyzer Generator)

        Lexical analysis is the first stage of a compilation process. It's used for getting a token sequence from source code. It gets an input character sequence and finds out what the token is in the start position, whether it's a language keyword, an identifier, a constant (also called a literal), or, maybe, some error. A lexical analyzer (also known as tokenizer) sends a stream of tokens further, into a parser, which builds an AST (abstract syntax tree).

        It's possible to write a lexer from scratch, but much more convenient to use any lexer generator. If we define some parsing rules, corresponding to an input language syntax, we get a complete lexical analyzer (tokenizer), which can extract tokens from an input program text and pass them to a parser.

        One of such generators is Flex. In this article, we'll examine how it works in general, and observe some nontrivial nuances of developing a lexer with Flex.
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      • PVS-Studio is now in Compiler Explorer


          Not so long ago, a landmark event has happened: PVS-Studio appeared in Compiler Explorer! Now you can quickly and easily analyze the code for errors right on the godbolt.org site (Compiler Explorer). This feature opens up a large number of new possibilities – from quenching curiosity about the analyzer's abilities to being able to quickly share check results with a friend. This article will cover the topic on how to use these features. Caution – large GIFs!
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        • Checking the GCC 10 Compiler with PVS-Studio

            PVS-Studo vs GCC 10

            The GCC compiler is written with copious use of macros. Another check of the GCC code using PVS-Studio once again confirms the opinion of our team that macros are evil in the flesh. Not only does the static analyzer struggle with reviewing such code, but also a developer. GCC developers are certainly used to the project and are well versed in it. Nonetheless, it is very difficult to understand something on the third hand. Actually, due to macros, it was not possible to fully perform code checking. However, the PVS-Studio analyzer, as always, showed that it can find errors even in compilers.
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          • Checking the Ark Compiler Recently Made Open-Source by Huawei

              Picture 1

              During the summer of 2019, Huawei gave a series of presentations announcing the Ark Compiler technology. The company claims that this open-source project will help developers make the Android system and third-party software much more fluent and responsive. By tradition, every new promising open-source project goes through PVS-Studio for us to evaluate the quality of its code.


              The Ark Compiler was first announced by Huawei at the launch of the new smartphone models P30 and P30 Pro. It is claimed that the Ark Compiler will improve the fluency of the Android system by 24% and response speed by 44%. Third-party Android applications will also gain a 60% speed-up after recompilation with the Ark Compiler. The open-source version of the project is called OpenArkCompiler; its source code is available on Gitee, a Chinese fork of GitHub.
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            • Why LLVM may call a never called function?

                I don’t care what your dragon’s said, it’s a lie. Dragons lie. You don’t know what’s waiting for you on the other side.

                Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragon’s Daughter
                This article is based on the post in the Krister Walfridsson’s blog, “Why undefined behavior may call a never called function?”.

                The article draws a simple conclusion: undefined behavior in a compiler can do anything, even something absolutely unexpected. In this article, I examine the internal mechanism of this optimization works.
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              • Checking the Roslyn Source Code

                  PVS-Studio vs Roslyn

                  Once in a while we go back to the projects that we have previously checked using PVS-Studio, which results in their descriptions in various articles. Two reasons make these comebacks exciting for us. Firstly, the opportunity to assess the progress of our analyzer. Secondly, monitoring the feedback of the project's authors to our article and the report of errors, which we usually provide them with. Of course, errors can be corrected without our participation. However, it is always nice when our efforts help to make a project better. Roslyn was no exception. The previous article about this project check dates back to December 23, 2015. It's quite a long time, in the view of the progress that our analyzer has made since that time. Since the C# core of the PVS-Studio analyzer is based on Roslyn, it gives us additional interest in this project. As a result, we're as keen as mustard about the code quality of this project. Now let's test it once again and find out some new and interesting issues (but let's hope that nothing significant) that PVS-Studio will be able to find.
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                • My Pascal compiler and Polish contemporary art


                    Several years ago I wrote a Pascal compiler. The motivation was simple: as a teenager, I had learnt from my first programming textbooks that a compiler is a very sophisticated thing. This claim eventually became a challenge and required to be tested by experience.


                    First, a simplistic PL/0 compiler came into being, and later an almost fully-functional Pascal compiler for MS-DOS has grown from it. My source of inspiration was the Compiler Construction book by Niklaus Wirth, the inventor of the Pascal language. I don't care if Wirth's views are now considered obsolete and have no direct connections to the IT mainstream, or if the compiler design fashion has changed. It is enough to know that his techniques are still simple, elegant, and — last but not least — bring much fun, since it is more appealing to parse a program source with a handwritten recursive descent parser and generate the machine code, rather than to call yaccs, bisons and all their descendants.

                    My compiler's fate was not so trivial. It has lived two lives: the first one in my own hands, and the second in the hands of computer antiquarians from Poland.
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