Hsc is able to produce lots of different warnings and errors when parsing hsc-sources. The are divided into several classes, and there is a possibility to filter out specific messages or whole message classes. There are also possibilities to change the appearance of messages and redirect them to a file, making it easy to integrate hsc into existing developer environments.

Message Elements

For example, a typical message could be:
hugo.hsc (17,23): Warning 11: unknown tag <sepp>
with being..

The message about would suggest to load the file hugo.hsc in your editor and go to line 17, column 23.

Message Classes

Note is a message only for the user's information. It can be suppressed using Ignore.

Bad-style informs the user that his although legal HTML code includes constructs that indicate a bad style. It can be suppressed using Ignore.

Portability-problem informs the user that his although legal HTML code includes constructs can lead to problems on old or buggy browsers. It can be suppressed using Ignore.

Warning tells you that your source includes some problematic parts that can lead to problems with several browsers. It can be suppressed using Ignore.

Error indicates that there is something wrong with your HTML source. Conversion will continue, but no output will written be written after finishing it.

Fatal error tells you that something serious is wrong and there is no way for hsc to recover and continue the conversion. No output will be written.

There is also a class called internal error messages, which is used by hsc to report that hsc itself is broken. Normally this should not happen, but if it does, you have found a bug. To find out more about what to do in such a case, see the chapter on ``Known Bugs, Problems And Limitations''.

Message Options

There are several commandline options to modify the behavior of hsc's messages. You can suppress messages you are not interested in and you can redirect them to a file and change the output format, e.g. to pipe them to an external message browser. On some systems, you can even send them to some selected message browsers without messy piping and scripting.

Ignore/Enable Certain Messages and Classes

If you think that hsc reports too much or too little about problems in your source code, you can specify several options to change its behavior.

The first one—and also the one with the biggest impact—is MSGMODE. This switches hsc into one of three basic modes for the syntax check:

These modes, however, give only very rough control over the amount of messages. For the fine-tuning, the more sophisticated IGNORE and ENABLE exist.

Unless MSGMODE=NORMAL is OK for you, you have to specify MSGMODE in the command line before IGNORE or ENABLE is used the first time as it resets several of the internal data structures.

IGNORE can be used to suppress single messages or whole message classes, if you are not interested in them. This option can show up in the command line call multiple times, for example:

IGNORE=18 IGN=21 IGN 22 - ignore warnings #18, #21, #22

You can also specify a whole list of messages, separated by a vertical bar (``|''), for instance:

IGNORE=18|21|22 - same as the above example

(If the vertical bar is used as piping character, you have to quote this value: IGNORE "18|21|22")

There are some special, non-numeric values you can use to ignore whole groups or classes of messages:

If you don't care about portability problems and some other messages, but still want to have a quite exhaustive check, you could use something like this:

MSGMODE=pedantic IGNORE=portability|46|51

If on the other hand you are quite satisfied with the NORMAL check but want to see one particular message (e.g. replaced icon entities), this should do the trick:


You can combine these options to even more complex rules:

MSGMODE=pedantic IGNORE=note ENABLE=77

This first enables all messages, then disables all notes but finally enables again one specific note for message #77.

To find out the number of a certain message to enable, look at the list of messages. To ignore a message, simple get the number from the console once an unwanted message shows up the first time.

Redirecting Messages and Changing the Message Format

MSGFORMAT specifies the appearance of messages, for example concerning the sequence of the elements described before. The message format can contain several placeholders that are replaced by the message elements described above:
%f filename
%x, %y location in file (column, line)
%c message class
%i message id (numeric)
%m message text
%n inserts a linefeed
%% inserts percent sign (``%'')

To for example get GCC-like messages, use MSGFORMAT="%f:%y: %c %i: %m".

To disable output to the console, specify an empty string: MSGFORMAT=. This is probably useful only if you use a message browser (see below).

MSGFILE can be used to redirect messages to a file, from where they can be processed for example by some message parser that controls your editor.

For an example script that invokes hsc, redirects its messages and sends them to a message browser, see grafflwerk/hScMsg.rexx.

Using a Message Browser

By default, hsc writes messages to the console where it was started from. For the user this means to read the filename and position, switch to his editor and go to the line told. Because this is pretty troublesome, many people use message browser where all messages are listed nicely sorted by file. Clicking on a message puts the editor to front and makes it jump to the requested position.

With the commandline option MSGBROWSER you can specify one of the following browsers (case insensitive):

So to to use ScMsg, specify MSGBROWSER=SCMSG, for throwback set MSGBROWSER=Throwback.

If you specify a message browser on a system that does not support it, e.g. attempting to Throwback under NeXTStep, no browser will be used. That means you do not have to change your Makefile if you want to work on another system for a short time.

Note that status messages and non-input related error messages are still viewed in the console.

Limiting Messages

By default, hsc stops to parse once more than 40 messages or 20 errors have show up. In such a case, you should either start to Ignore messages or fix errors.

If you don't like these numbers, you can change them using MAXMSG respectively MAXERR. The value 0 represents an "infinite" amount of messages.

Note that nested messages with all those ``location of previous call'' texts still count as one, independent of the nesting level.