Many programmers know firsthand that C and C++ program builds very long. Someone solves this problem by sword-fighting at build time, someone is going to the kitchen to "grab some coffee". This article is for those who are tired of this, and who decided it is time to do something about it. In this article, various ways of speeding up compilation time of a project are regarded, as well as treatment of a disease "fixed one header - a half of a project was rebuilt."


General Principles

Before we start, let's find out/recall the main phases of the translation of C/C++ code into an executable program.

According to p. ( of the draft N1548 "Programming languages — C" and p.5.2 ( N4659 "Working Draft, Standard for Programming Language C++"(published versions of the standards can be purchased here ( and here (, 8 and 9 translation phases are defined respectively. Let's leave out the details and consider the translating process in the abstract:

  • Phase I - the source file arrives at the input preprocessor. Preprocessor makes content substitution of the specified in the #include files and expands macros. It corresponds to the phases 1 - 4 of the C11 and C++17 drafts.
  • Phase II - the preprocessed file arrives at the compiler and gets converted to an object file. It corresponds to the phases 5 - 7 of the C11 draft and 5 - 8 of the C++17 draft.
  • Phase III - a linker links object files and provides static libraries, forming an executable program. It corresponds to the phases 8 - 9 of the C11 and C++17 drafts respectively.

The program is compound of translation units (*.c, *.cc, *.cpp, *.cxx), each is self-sufficient and can be preproccessed/compiled independently from the other. It also follows that each translation unit has no information about the other units. If the two units have to exchange any information (such as a function), this is solved by linking by name: the external entity is declared with the keyword extern, and at the phase III the linker links them. A simple example:

TU1.cpp file:

// TU1.cpp

#include <cstdint>

int64_t abs(int64_t num)
return num >= 0 ? num : -num;

TU2.cpp file:

// TU2.cpp

#include <cstdint>

extern int64_t abs(int64_t num);

int main()
return abs(0);

To simplify the harmonization of different translation units, a header files mechanism was figured out, which is a declaration of clear interface. Subsequently, each translation unit in case of need includes the header file through the #include preprocessor directive.

Next, let's look at how you can speed up the build at different phases. In addition to the principle itself, it will also be helpful to describe how to implement this or that way in the build system. The examples will be given to the following build systems: MSBuild, Make, CMake.

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Kate Milovidova 25 december 2017, 14:07

The Unreal Engine project continues to develop - new code is added, and previously written code is changed. The inevitable consequence of the development in a project? The emergence of new bugs in the code that a programmer wants to identify as early as possible. One of the ways to reduce the number of errors is the use of the static analyzer, 'PVS-Studio'. If you care about code quality, this article is for you.


Although, we did it ( two years ago, since that time we got more work to do regards code editing and improvement. It is always useful and interesting to look at the project code base after a two-year break. There are several reasons for this.

First, we were interested to look at false positives from the analyzer. This work helped us improve our tool as well, which would reduce the number of unnecessary messages. Fighting false positives is a constant task for any developer of code analyzers.

The codebase of Unreal Engine has significantly changed over the two years. Some fragments were added, some were removed, sometimes entire folders disappeared. That's why not all the parts of the code got sufficient attention, which means that there is some work for PVS-Studio.

The fact that the company uses static analysis tools shows the maturity of the project development cycle, and the care given to ensuring the reliability and safety of the code.

We won't be talking about all the errors that we found and fixed, We will highlight only those that deserve attention, to our mind.

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P.S. Those who are willing, may take a look at other errors in the pull request on Github. To access the source code, and a specified pull request, you must have access to the Unreal Engine repository on GitHub. To do this, you must have accounts on GitHub and EpicGames, which must be linked on the website After that, you need to accept the invitation to join the Epic Games community on GitHub.Instruction (
Kate Milovidova 27 june 2017, 12:50


In this article we'll look at the main features of SonarQube - a platform for continuous analysis and measurement of code quality, and we'll also discuss advantages of the methods for code quality evaluation based on the SonarQube metrics.

SonarQube is an open source platform, designed for continuous analysis and measurement of code quality. SonarQube provides the following capabilities:
Kate Milovidova 16 november 2016, 12:13