ERROR(1) BSD General Commands Manual ERROR(1)
error -- analyze and disperse compiler error messages
error [-nqSsTv] [-I ignorefile] [-p filelevel] [-t suffixlist] [name]
error analyzes and optionally disperses the diagnostic error messages produced by a number
of compilers and language processors to the source file and line where the errors occurred.
It can replace the painful, traditional methods of scribbling abbreviations of errors on
paper, and permits error messages and source code to be viewed simultaneously without machi-
nations of multiple windows in a screen editor.
-n Do not touch any files; all error messages are sent to the standard output.
-p filelevel Interpret filenumber as a level of path component names to skip, similar to
-q The user is queried whether s/he wants to touch the file. A ``y'' or ``n''
to the question is necessary to continue. Absence of the -q option implies
that all referenced files (except those referring to discarded error mes-
sages) are to be touched.
-S Show the errors in unsorted order (as they come from the error file).
-s Print out statistics regarding the error categorization. Not too useful.
-T Terse output.
-t Take the following argument as a suffix list. Files whose suffixes do not
appear in the suffix list are not touched. The suffix list is dot sepa-
rated, and ``*'' wildcards work. Thus the suffix list:
allows error to touch files ending with ``.c'', ``.y'', ``.foo*'' and
-v After all files have been touched, overlay the visual editor vi(1) with it
set up to edit all files touched, and positioned in the first touched file
at the first error. If vi(1) can't be found, try ex(1) or ed(1) from stan-
error looks at the error messages, either from the specified file name or from the standard
input, and attempts to determine which language processor produced each error message,
determines the source file and line number to which the error message refers, determines if
the error message is to be ignored or not, and inserts the (possibly slightly modified)
error message into the source file as a comment on the line preceding to which the line the
error message refers. Error messages which can't be categorized by language processor or
content are not inserted into any file, but are sent to the standard output. error touches
source files only after all input has been read.
error is intended to be run with its standard input connected via a pipe to the error mes-
sage source. Some language processors put error messages on their standard error file; oth-
ers put their messages on the standard output. Hence, both error sources should be piped
together into error.
For example, when using the sh(1) syntax
make -s lint 2>&1 | error -q -v
or the csh(1) syntax
make -s lint |& error -q -v
error will analyze all the error messages produced by whatever programs make(1) runs when
error knows about the error messages produced by: make(1), cc(1), cpp(1), ccom, as(1),
ld(1), lint(1), pi, pc, f77(1), and DEC Western Research Modula-2. error knows a standard
format for error messages produced by the language processors, so is sensitive to changes in
these formats. For all languages except Pascal, error messages are restricted to be on one
line. Some error messages refer to more than one line in more than one files; error will
duplicate the error message and insert it at all of the places referenced.
error will do one of six things with error messages.
synchronize Some language processors produce short errors describing which file it is pro-
cessing. error uses these to determine the file name for languages that don't
include the file name in each error message. These synchronization messages
are consumed entirely by error.
discard Error messages from lint(1) that refer to one of the two lint(1) libraries,
/usr/libdata/lint/llib-lc and /usr/libdata/lint/llib-port are discarded, to
prevent accidentally touching these libraries. Again, these error messages are
consumed entirely by error.
nullify Error messages from lint(1) can be nullified if they refer to a specific func-
tion, which is known to generate diagnostics which are not interesting. Nulli-
fied error messages are not inserted into the source file, but are written to
the standard output. The names of functions to ignore are taken from either
the file named .errorrc in the user's home directory, or from the file named by
the -I option. If the file does not exist, no error messages are nullified.
If the file does exist, there must be one function name per line.
not file specific
Error messages that can't be intuited are grouped together, and written to the
standard output before any files are touched. They will not be inserted into
any source file.
Error message that refer to a specific file, but to no specific line, are writ-
ten to the standard output when that file is touched.
true errors Error messages that can be intuited are candidates for insertion into the file
to which they refer.
Only true error messages are candidates for inserting into the file they refer to. Other
error messages are consumed entirely by error or are written to the standard output. error
inserts the error messages into the source file on the line preceding the line the language
processor found in error. Each error message is turned into a one line comment for the lan-
guage, and is internally flagged with the string ``###'' at the beginning of the error, and
``%%%'' at the end of the error. This makes pattern searching for errors easier with an
editor, and allows the messages to be easily removed. In addition, each error message con-
tains the source line number for the line the message refers to. A reasonably formatted
source program can be recompiled with the error messages still in it, without having the
error messages themselves cause future errors. For poorly formatted source programs in free
format languages, such as C or Pascal, it is possible to insert a comment into another com-
ment, which can wreak havoc with a future compilation. To avoid this, programs with com-
ments and source on the same line should be formatted so that language statements appear
error catches interrupt and terminate signals, and if in the insertion phase, will orderly
terminate what it is doing.
~/.errorrc function names to ignore for lint(1) error messages
/dev/tty user's teletype
The error command appeared in 4.0BSD.
Opens the teletype directly to do user querying.
Source files with links make a new copy of the file with only one link to it.
Changing a language processor's format of error messages may cause error to not understand
the error message.
error, since it is purely mechanical, will not filter out subsequent errors caused by
`floodgating' initiated by one syntactically trivial error. Humans are still much better at
discarding these related errors.
Pascal error messages belong after the lines affected (error puts them before). The align-
ment of the `\' marking the point of error is also disturbed by error.
error was designed for work on CRT's at reasonably high speed. It is less pleasant on slow
speed terminals, and has never been used on hardcopy terminals.
BSD January 22, 2012 BSD