Riverblade - Visual Lint FAQ


Visual Lint FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find answers to some common questions about Visual Lint. If there is anything you need to know which is not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Which code analysis tools does Visual Lint support?

Please see the Visual Lint Analysis Tools page for details of the supported analysis tools.

To use Visual Lint, you will need to have access to at least one supported code analysis tool. If you do not have access to any commercial analysis tools, don't worry - there are free alternatives available. The "More Information" button on the Configuration Wizard "Select Folder" page will open an appropriate download or purchase page for the selected analysis tool.

Please contact us if there is a particular analysis tool you would like to use with Visual Lint. 

If you need to purchase a copy of PC-lint we can supply both LAN and Workstation licences directly - please contact us for details.

 

Which platforms does Visual Lint support?

Visual Lint has been tested on Windows 2000 SP4, Windows Server 2003 (SP1 and R2), Windows XP (SP2 and SP3), Windows Vista (RTM and SP1), Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Both x86 and x64 installations are supported.

Please contact us if you have any queries about compatibility with a particular platform or service pack level.

 

Which versions of Visual Studio and Visual C++ is Visual Lint compatible with?

Visual Lint is compatible with eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0, Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0, Visual Studio .NET 2002, Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, Visual Studio 2008, Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013.

Please contact us if you have any queries about compatibility with a particular environment or service pack level.

 

Which editions of Visual Studio and Visual C++ is Visual Lint compatible with?

Visual Lint is compatible with all editions of Visual C++ and Visual Studio, with the exception of Visual Studio Express Editions.

This restriction is not one of our choosing - unfortunately the Visual Studio Express Editions do not allow the loading of third party add-ins and extension packages. This is a limitation imposed directly by Microsoft themselves.

 

Which versions of Eclipse is Visual Lint compatible with?

Visual Lint has been tested with x86 builds of Eclipse 3.4 onwards using the MinGW toolchain, but should load in versions back to at least 3.1. Please contact us if you have any queries about compatibility with a particular Eclipse configuration.

 

Does the Visual Lint installer include a trial version of PC-lint?

PC-lint does not have a trial version, and therefore we cannot (unfortunately) include it in the Visual Lint installer. You will therefore need a licenced PC-lint installation in order to use Visual Lint.

If you need to purchase a copy of PC-lint you can purchase one from our online store. Please contact Gimpel Software for support and other information regarding PC-lint itself.

 

Which programming languages does Visual Lint support?

Visual Lint currently supports analysis of C, C++, C# and Java codebases via a selection of code analysis tools.

If you need support for another language or analysis tool please contact us and we will look into integrating it into Visual Lint.

 

How closely integrated into the development environment is Visual Lint?

Modern development environments such as Eclipse, Visual Studio 2008 and Visual Studio 2010 allow extremely close integration into the IDE. Under these environments, Visual Lint will integrate its commands into the Visual Studio menubar and command bars, and even add a "Perform Manual Analysis" command to the context menu in the code editor. The Visual Lint toolwindows can be docked anywhere in the IDE, and can be pinned and autohidden just like any other window.

Under Visual C++ 6.0 and eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 the level of integration we can offer is, unfortunately, rather more limited. Visual Lint will still create its own toolbar (named "VisLint" rather than "Visual Lint" due to the rather low level method we have to use to set the name), but it cannot add commands to the menubar or control the state of the toolbar commands (disabled, selected etc.) as the IDE simply does not provide the capability for add-ins to do this. Even worse, the IDE does not provide any capabilities to integrate third party toolwindows. We have, however, been able to integrate them into the Workspace View (but not the Output Window - at least not yet) using window subclassing techniques.
 

Can Visual Lint be run from the command line (e.g. as part of an overnight build process)?

Yes - the VisualLintConsole application supplied within the Visual Lint installer is a command line version of Visual Lint, supporting a similar set of commands to those of our companion product LintProject Professional.

VisualLintConsole is capable of incremental parallelised analysis in the same way as interactive versions of Visual Lint. Please contact us if you need assistance in integrating VisualLintConsole with a particular build or continuous integration server environment.

 

Can Visual Lint handle project files containing .props/.vsprops files and Visual Studio Environment Variables?

Yes, it can. Although PC-lint does not currently expand such project files correctly, Visual Lint will by default read the project files itself in order to write the project indirect (or project.lnt) files needed to perform the analysis.

During this process it will expand Visual Studio environment variables and recursively parse .vsprops files in order to correctly identify any additional include or preprocessor directives defined in that manner. Please contact us if you have specific requirements.


Can I pass my own parameters to the analysis tool?

Yes. The Command Line page in the Options Dialog provides a control which allows you to enter parameters to pass to the active analysis tool. Registered copies of Visual Lint Professional and Enterprise Editions also provide a similar capability on a per solution or per project basis.

Please contact us if you have specific requirements.

 

How do I change the font used in the Message Lookup Display?

By default, the Message Lookup Display uses a Courier font for displaying the details of selected messages. Although the font used in the display is not configurable via the user interface, it can be configured using the registry. To do this, all you have to do is set the following registry keys to the font name and size (in points) you wish to use:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Riverblade\Visual Lint\Settings\Displays\Warning Lookup\Font Family
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Riverblade\Visual Lint\Settings\Displays\Warning Lookup\Font Size
We have created a registry export file which will do this for you (for Consolas 10 point) without having to fiddle around in the registry editor. Feel free to download it and modify to your preferred font settings.
 

 

Help! I'm getting PC-lint analysis errors in the system header files. What could be wrong?

If you are receiving errors (as opposed to warnings, elective notes etc.) in the system header files, there is almost certainly a mismatch between your analysis configuration and the configuration presented to the C++ compiler itself. This is most likely to occur if a project configuration is incorrectly handled or the include folder specification is not set up correctly in the std.lnt global indirect file.

The first thing we would suggest is that you incorporate the error suppression files riverblade-lint9.lnt (for PC-lint 9.0) and/or riverblade-lint8.lnt (or PC-lint 8.0) into your std.lnt file. These files can be downloaded from http://www.riverblade.co.uk/products/visual_lint/downloads/PcLintConfigFiles.zip and contain suppression directives for commonly encountered issues in the Visual C++ header files.

If however you are unable to determine the cause yourself we would be happy to look at your configuration for you and suggest any resultant changes. If you wish to do this, we will need you to send us the following information:

  • A copy of your analysis configuration (the std.lnt file etc.)
  • A small sample project which illustrates this issue
  • Details of the global analysis configuration you are using with Visual Lint (either a dump of the registry configuration from HKCU\Software\Riverblade\Visual Lint or screenshots of your options pages).
  • Details of any project or solution specific analysis settings you may be using (these are stored in .vloptions files)
  • A copy of the status text recorded by Visual Lint in the "Visual Lint Status"  (VS2002/2003/2005/2008) or "Macros" (VS6/eVC4) pane of the Output Window.


How do I perform a silent installation of Visual Lint?

Silent installations are fully supported in Visual Lint. To perform a silent installation the following command line can be used:
VisualLintSetup /s LICENCE_USER=<Licenced User> LICENCE_KEY=<Licence Key> /l=<logfile pathname>
LICENCE_USER and LICENCE_KEY are optional, and should be used if you need to install a licence key at the same time as the installation. Similarly, to uninstall use:
VisualLintSetup  /s MODIFY=FALSE REMOVE=TRUE UNINSTALL=YES /l=<logfile pathname>

If you require a customised installation (for example to specify the installation folder or a group policy compatible installer) please contact us.

 

 
"I really believe that this tool has contributed more than any other in improving the quality of the software I release."
- Simon Raybould, Freelance Software Consultant