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3.2.8 Using gcc for Syntax Checking

The s stands for “syntax”.

Run GNAT in syntax checking only mode. For example, the command

          $ gcc -c -gnats x.adb

compiles file x.adb in syntax-check-only mode. You can check a series of files in a single command , and can use wild cards to specify such a group of files. Note that you must specify the -c (compile only) flag in addition to the -gnats flag. . You may use other switches in conjunction with -gnats. In particular, -gnatl and -gnatv are useful to control the format of any generated error messages.

When the source file is empty or contains only empty lines and/or comments, the output is a warning:

          $ gcc -c -gnats -x ada toto.txt
          toto.txt:1:01: warning: empty file, contains no compilation units

Otherwise, the output is simply the error messages, if any. No object file or ALI file is generated by a syntax-only compilation. Also, no units other than the one specified are accessed. For example, if a unit X with's a unit Y, compiling unit X in syntax check only mode does not access the source file containing unit Y.

Normally, GNAT allows only a single unit in a source file. However, this restriction does not apply in syntax-check-only mode, and it is possible to check a file containing multiple compilation units concatenated together. This is primarily used by the gnatchop utility (see Renaming Files Using gnatchop).