Simplified compiling

During my years as an embedded software consultant I’ve spent my fair share of time in projects with enormous build systems, outputting 1000’s of lines of messages when being built. The chance of spotting what could potentially be hazardous compiler warnings and remarks are then slim to nothing.

Of course, should I have a compiler that supports it, I could always turn on the gcc “-Werror” flag, treat all warnings as errors and then go about and fix all of these. However, sometimes that may not be a viable option, or perhaps I’d just like to get an overview of all warnings and solve them when time so permits.

The other day a colleague of mine introduced me to the simple, yet clever, tool “hilite”. This tiny piece of software will highlight anything printed to stderr, making it the perfect tool to use with your Linux/Unix-based build environment of choice.

Running a build with hilite, anything printed to stderr by the compiler, such as errors, warnings and remarks, will show up with bold red text on my screen – making these messages so much easier to spot.

Hilite can be found on sourceforge at the hilite page.

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