When developing PVS-Studio we assigned primary importance to the simplicity of use. We took into account our experience of working with traditional lint-like code analyzers. And that is why one of the main advantages of PVS-Studio over other code analyzers is that you can start using it immediately. Besides, PVS-Studio has been designed in such a way that the developer using the analyzer would not have to set it up at all. We managed to solve this task: a developer has a powerful code analyzer which you need not to set up at the first launch.
But you should understand that the code analyzer is a powerful tool which needs competent use. It is this competent use of the analyzer (thanks to the settings system) that allows you to achieve significant results. Operation of the code analyzer implies that there should be a tool (a program) which performs routine work of searching potentially unsafe constructions in code and a master (a developer) who can make decisions on the basis of what he knows about the project being verified. Thus, for example, the developer can inform the analyzer that:
- some error types are not important for analysis and do not need to be shown (with the help of settings of Settings: Detectable Errors);
- the project does not contain incorrect type conversions (by disabling the corresponding diagnostic messages, Settings: Detectable Errors);
Correct setting of these parameters can greatly reduce the number of diagnostic messages produced by the code analyzer. It means that if the developer helps the analyzer and gives it some additional information by using the settings, the analyzer will in its turn reduce the number of places in the code which the developer must pay attention to when examining the analysis results.
PVS-Studio setting can be accessed through the PVS-Studio -> Options command in the IDE main menu. When selecting this command you will see the dialogue of PVS-Studio options.
Each settings page is extensively described in PVS-Studio documentation.