Emacs macro to ease the pain of checkpatchitis

In order to submit patches to the Linux kernel — as I’ve been doing lately to help improve Linux’s DisplayLink driver udlfb — the changed code has to pass a script called checkpatch.pl, which flags violations of the Linux kernel style guidelines.

Style wars (e.g. “tabs vs. spaces”) are a never-ending source of tension on projects, so I actually appreciate automation like checkpatch.pl to just lay down the law, and be done with it.

But .. having to sift through endless warnings when you run checkpatch.pl late in the development process is frustrating. And there’s no way most occasional kernel patchers will remember all the rules (especially if you strongly disagree with some of them — which I do). It’s much better if your editor can just warn you when you step off the golden path of enlightenment. I use emacs, so I looked around for solutions, but they were only incomplete, or not real-time (e.g. checkpatch.pl has an –emacs option to run in the compile window of emacs).

So here’s something a little less incomplete that I’ve added to my .emacs file to catch the majority of checkpatch.pl errors in real-time (by highlighting the offending code in red). Works only on recent emacs versions. Hopefully it’ll be useful to others pounding away on their patches.

;; *** BEGIN highlight checkpatch.pl warnings and errors ***
(add-hook 'c-mode-common-hook
    (lambda ()
      ;; this sets defaults to match many checkpatch.pl guidelines
      (c-set-style "linux")))
;; but doesn't warn us about violations these regexp catch common ones
(custom-set-faces
    '(my-warning-face ((((class color)) (:background "red"))) t))
(add-hook 'font-lock-mode-hook
    (function
        (lambda ()
            (setq font-lock-keywords
                (append font-lock-keywords
		    '(("^.\\{81\\}" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '(("\\/\\/.*" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '((";[_A-Za-z0-9]+" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '((",[_A-Za-z0-9]+" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '(("return[[:blank:]]*(.+);" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '(("([_A-Za-z0-9]+[\\*]+)" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
                    '(("[[:blank:]]+\\)"(0 'my-warning-face t)))
		    '(("^[[:blank:]]+{[[:blank:]]*$" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
		    '(("[_A-Za-z0-9]+\\*[[:blank:]]" (0 'my-warning-face t)))
		)))))
;; exercise to reader - move regexps into c hook
;; *** END highlight checkpatch.pl warnings and errors ***

Any enhancements or corrections are welcome.

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