[cfe-dev] Clang-format / clang-tidy VS plugin

Aaron Ballman via cfe-dev cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sun Aug 14 15:14:43 PDT 2016

On Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 6:58 PM, Zachary Turner via cfe-dev
<cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> I was thinking about some ways to improve clang-format, and possibly even
> add clang-tidy to the list of things our VS plugin supports.  Perhaps even
> merge them into a single plugin.  But you know, I'm a windows person, and I
> want a UI.  I don't want to just click a button and have it use some
> settings that are on disk that I edited by hand, I'd like to be able to edit
> the settings themselves through a nice UI, like everything in VS.
> This is kind of difficult if the plugin shells out to an external tool
> without linking against it, because it doesn't have any knowledge of what
> specific options and features the version it's calling might support in
> order to build the appropriate UI to set them.  On the other hand, if it
> links against the tool, this all becomes very easy, because the plugin can
> share types and data structures with the tool itself.  And it also means
> that someone could download the plugin without installing LLVM, as a
> standalone tool, greatly reducing the barrier to entry for people wanting to
> try out the tool.
> Here's a quick mockup of what my ideal UI would look like and what I have in
> mind: http://imgur.com/a/p3XBv
> But again, it's hard to maintain this kind of thing if the VS plugin has to
> rely on an external tool to do the formatting, since it would have to know
> about every possible set of options for every version as the software
> improves.  So in order to do this this way, we'd need to probably build
> clang-format and/or clang-tidy as a DLL and bundle them with the plugin,
> which could link against it.
> Not really asking anyone else to do the work so much as I am asking if
> people think this would be cool and/or something they'd like to see.
> Personally I think it would be a great way to get clang-format and
> clang-tidy onto more peoples' systems, particularly those people who are not
> currently using clang on Windows, since this would be standalone and work
> out of the box while providing a familiar user interface to what people are
> used to.
> Thoughts?

I would *love* to see clang-tidy exposed as a plugin within Visual
Studio. The existing clang-format integration we already have is
basically the only reason I use clang-format -- I don't want to drop
into a command line from my editor unless I absolutely have to, so
integrating clang-tidy makes it far more likely to check code early
and often. The tight integration of the options with the editor would
be really nice, but not critical for my particular usage (the defaults
for both tools are fine for my needs).


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