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16.6 Compiler Errors

Error and warning messages from byte compilation are printed in a buffer named *Compile-Log*. These messages include file names and line numbers identifying the location of the problem. The usual Emacs commands for operating on compiler output can be used on these messages.

When an error is due to invalid syntax in the program, the byte compiler might get confused about the error's exact location. One way to investigate is to switch to the buffer  *Compiler Input*. (This buffer name starts with a space, so it does not show up in the Buffer Menu.) This buffer contains the program being compiled, and point shows how far the byte compiler was able to read; the cause of the error might be nearby. See Syntax Errors, for some tips for locating syntax errors.

A common type of warning issued by the byte compiler is for functions and variables that were used but not defined. Such warnings report the line number for the end of the file, not the locations where the missing functions or variables were used; to find these, you must search the file manually.

If you are sure that a warning message about a missing function or variable is unjustified, there are several ways to suppress it:

You can also suppress any and all compiler warnings within a certain expression using the construct with-no-warnings:

— Special Form: with-no-warnings body...

In execution, this is equivalent to (progn body...), but the compiler does not issue warnings for anything that occurs inside body.

We recommend that you use this construct around the smallest possible piece of code, to avoid missing possible warnings other than one you intend to suppress.

Byte compiler warnings can be controlled more precisely by setting the variable byte-compile-warnings. See its documentation string for details.