Syntax Validation

What Does Syntax Validation Mean?

Syntax validation is the process of checking whether the syntax of a program is free of programming or stylistic editors. There are a number of tools to check syntax for almost every programming language. Some are run locally on the computer and others are available online. These tools are also known as “linters,” after the lint utility which checks for errors in C.


Techopedia Explains Syntax Validation

Syntax validation checks code for various programming and stylistic errors in programming languages. There are syntax validators, also called linters, available for almost every programming language in current use. A well-known example is the lint utility for Unix-like operating systems, written by Stephen P. Johnson at Bell Labs in 1979. The term “linter” is derived from this utility.

Syntax validators can check for things beyond syntax, flagging common errors such as using variables before they are set and dividing by zero. Syntax validators are highly specific to the programming language being checked, designed to highlight code style that goes against the best practices of a programming language community. Search engines reveal many online code checkers for most programming languages.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.