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Sparse - a Semantic Parser for C

About Sparse

Sparse, the semantic parser, provides a compiler frontend capable of parsing most of ANSI C as well as many GCC extensions, and a collection of sample compiler backends, including a static analyzer also called "sparse". Sparse provides a set of annotations designed to convey semantic information about types, such as what address space pointers point to, or what locks a function acquires or releases.

Linus Torvalds started writing Sparse in 2003, initially targeting issues such as mixing pointers to user address space and pointers to kernel address space.

Josh Triplett maintained Sparse 2006~2009. As of 2009, Christopher Li is the current maintainer of Sparse.

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Getting Sparse

Sparse releases

You can find released versions of sparse at http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/devel/sparse/dist/

Obtaining sparse via Git

Sparse uses the Git version control system. You can obtain the most recent version of sparse directly from the Git repository with the command:

git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/devel/sparse/sparse.git

Dave Jones provides daily snapshot tarballs of the Git repository at http://www.codemonkey.org.uk/projects/git-snapshots/sparse/. The URL http://www.codemonkey.org.uk/projects/git-snapshots/sparse/sparse-latest.tar.gz will always get you the latest such snapshot.

You can also browse the Git repository via gitweb.

Mailing list

Discussion about sparse occurs on the sparse mailing list, linux-sparse@vger.kernel.org. To subscribe to the list, send an email with subscribe linux-sparse in the body to majordomo@vger.kernel.org. You can browse the list archives at http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-sparse, or via the Gmane group gmane.comp.parsers.sparse.

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