CppCat is a static code analyzer integrating into the Visual Studio 2010-2013 environment. The analyzer is designed for regular use and allows detecting a large number of various errors and typos in programs written in C and C++. For the purpose of popularizing it, we've decided to launch a student-support program granting free licenses to every higher school student who will contact and ask us about that. You just need to send us a photo of your student card or transcript.
A few words about static code analysis
Static code analysis tools draw the programmer's attention to those fragments which are very likely to contain errors. Here's a simple example:
double var_z; .... var_z = ( var_z - 16 / 116 ) / 7.787;
This code is correct from the viewpoint of the language and compiler. It's just a regular situation when division of the integer number 16 by integer number 116 results in 0. Expressions like that are necessary sometimes. However, the analyzer takes a wider perspective of the code and detects an error pattern: if the result of such an integer division is then used together with the double type, it may signal something is wrong.
The analyzer will draw your attention to this suspicious division with the following warning: V636 The '16 / 116' expression was implicitly casted from 'int' type to 'double' type. Consider utilizing an explicit type cast to avoid the loss of a fractional part. An example: double A = (double)(X) / Y;. color.c 125
The code was most likely meant to look as follows:
var_z = ( var_z - 16.0 / 116.0 ) / 7.787;
The division now results in 0,137931 instead of 0.
Static analysis tools can be treated as an extension to compiler warnings. Unlike the compiler, analyzers deal with higher-level constructs and rely on empirical methods trying to guess if the code works the way the programmer wanted it to.
A few words about the CppCat analyzer
CppCat is a static code analyzer which is easy to set and use. It is an excellent tool to get started with the static analysis methodology. It is not as powerful as its big brother PVS-Studio (see their comparison), but it is more than sufficient for most tasks. In any case, CppCat's functionality is surely quite enough for students and single developers.
The analyzer can integrate into Visual Studio 2010, 2012, 2013. Unfortunately, it can't integrate into Express editions and we can't help it as Visual Studio Express editions don't support plugins.
The analyzer supports the following languages: C, C++, C++/CLI, C++/CX.
An important feature of the analyzer is an automated analysis of freshly modified code. After compilation of modified files is finished, CppCat starts analyzing the code in background and displays a warning whenever anything suspicious is found. This feature allows programmers to detect errors at the very early development stage and thus save time on bug search and fixes.
You can download CppCat from the product's website: http://www.cppcat.com
How to get a CppCat license
Using CppCat will help you in acquiring skills of working with static analysis tools and improving your qualification. Static analyzers are growing more and more popular nowadays, so it'll be just good if you can specify in your résumé that you know how to use these tools.
To get a license you just need to send to our email firstname.lastname@example.org a photo or scan of your student card, transcript or other document confirming that you are a higher school student. Please specify your first and second name and the name of your university as it might be very difficult to make out this information from the photo. These data will be used to generate your personal registration key.
The license will be valid through 1 year. If you wish to be able to use CppCat after that, you will have to send us a new photo of your student card.