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Warnings in Xcode

This information is valid as of May 2014. Things may have changed since then.

A quick way to enable all possible warnings in Xcode consists in going to Build Settings > Other Warning Flags and adding one of this options:

  • -Wall to add a quite complete subset of warnings "that the developers [of the compiler] have high confidence in both their value and a low false-positive rate."

  • -Wextra to add some extra "warnings that are believed to be valuable and sound (i.e., they aren't buggy), but they may have high false-positive rates or common philosophical objections."

  • -Weverything to add "an insane group that literally enables every warning in Clang. Don't use this on your code. It is intended strictly for Clang developers or for exploring what warnings exist."

All the quoted parts are by Chandler Carruth. Personally, I think best option is adding -Wall and -Wextra and then maybe adding or removing some specific warnings on a one by one basis using -Wunused-variable (to add) or -Wno-unused-variable (to remove).

If we then want to disable a warning temporarily we can use #pragma directives:

#pragma clang diagnostic push
#pragma clang diagnostic ignored "-Wunused-variable"

// this code will ignore unused variable warnings

#pragma clang diagnostic pop

Finally, some programmers like to treat warnings as errors. This can be achieved with these flags:

  • -Werror to turn warnings into errors.

  • -Werror=foo to turn a specific warning into an error.

  • -Wno-error=foo to turn a specific warning into a warning again (in case -Werror has been specified).