[cfe-users] [cfe-dev] C++ Scoring Tool

Manuel Klimek via cfe-users cfe-users at lists.llvm.org
Tue Apr 17 02:38:53 PDT 2018

On Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 8:33 AM Jonas Toth via cfe-dev <
cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:

> +cfe-dev
> The people familiar with clang-format are more likely active there :)
> Am 17.04.2018 um 09:40 schrieb Daniel via cfe-users:
> Hello,
> For the senior project in my undergraduate studies, my team and I are
> developing a tool that will evaluate the format and code conventions of a
> c++ program, outputting a score and displaying useful messages, very much
> like pylint for python.
> The idea is kind of like clang-format except no alterations to the code
> should be made. The tool would be used as a teaching aid and automatic
> grader. To handle the beautiful diversity of c++, it shouldn't constrain
> the author to any particular style (although it should be able to do that
> too). For example: open curly braces on same line as function declaration
> compared to having them on a new line. In this case, the tool could check
> for consistency only. As long as the entire file has the same format, you
> will get a perfect score. If, however, there are 10 places of braces on
> same line and 9 on newline, there will be a penalty to the score, larger
> than if 18 on same line and 1 on newline. The idea is to enforce
> consistency without getting in the way of authors preferred style. This
> should give professors a robust tool to teach c++.
> I was hoping the clang community could help me understand the inner
> workings of clang a little bit better. Right now, my hangup is trying to
> get format data to work in conjunction with clangs AST. What I'm trying to
> do is get back the whitespace, comment, and bracket information that is
> loss during AST buildup. Suppose I want to check that all operators have
> consistent spacing format, something like "(2 * 2)" verses "(2*2)" verses
> "(2* 2)". The AST will be used to get the semantics of that particular
> operator so as to not get it confused with the array pointer operator, but
> I need to count the operator whitespace prefix and postfix. The same
> concept will be applied to statement whitespace circumfixs. If done right,
> I should be able to refer to all operators the same way no matter the
> complexity of the expression. Something like "(x - 4) / 3 * (2 +1)" would
> show an inconsistency in the end part "(2 +1)" because of a missing space.
> My first thought was to use the SourceManager locational information to
> point back to the source code, then process and identify the whitespace
> from there; However, this seems wildly inefficient and inelegant.
This is exactly how you would do that.

That said, why not teach students to use tools to do work for them instead
of spending time doing it on their own?

> My second thought was to somehow get clang to keep the whitespace
> information and add it to the AST, but I believe there are inherent
> difficulties with that.
> My biggest problem is lack of expertise within clangs source code. Does
> anybody have any ideas on how I can get clang to give me the information I
> need to support the above functionality?
> Thanks for any interest. I hope this is an appropriate mailing list to
> post my question.
> Daniel.
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