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Sometimes you may see alerts that you don't agree with or that you feel are not useful to you. You may also want to ignore an alert if you would rather not spend a long time re-writing your code for little potential benefit. In cases like these, you can disable individual alerts by adding 'suppression comments' to selected lines of your source code. 

Suppression comments

An alert suppression is an inline comment which is made up of:

  • A suppression annotation, which is not case sensitive: lgtm or LGTM.
  • An optional query identifier, [query id].

You can find the query identifier next to the @id property in the metadata at the top of most query files. If you don't specify a query identifier, then all alerts generated by the code on the commented line are suppressed. Adding an identifier allows you to selectively suppress alerts for a specific query. For further information on query identifiers, see Query metadata.

Suppression comments

The syntax of suppression comments is language-dependent:

  • "// lgtm..." for C/C++, C#, Go, Java, and JavaScript
  • "# lgtm..." for Python
  • "* lgtm..." for COBOL

Additionally, for Python the #noqa comment without any trailing text is also interpreted as a suppression comment. It has the same effect as #lgtm.

Whitespace is allowed both before and after the the word lgtm and the [ and ] symbols.

Adding suppression comments

For C/C++. C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, and Python, suppression comments apply to the entire line on which they appear. If an alert spans multiple lines of code, you need to insert the suppression comment on the first line. For COBOL, suppression comments should be placed above the line of code where the alert appears. If an alert spans across multiple lines of code, you need to insert the suppression comment above the first line.

If you would like to suppress alerts for more than one query on the same line of code, you should include lgtm annotations for each query on that line. For example:

  • "// lgtm[query1-id] lgtm[query2-id]" for C/C++, C#, Go, Java, and JavaScript
  • "* lgtm[query1-id] lgtm[query2-id]" for COBOL (to be placed on the line above the line of code where the alerts appear)
  • "# lgtm[query1-id] lgtm[query2-id]" for Python


The code snippet below - without the suppression comment - is taken from the standard Python library and uses multiple inheritance to define a class:

class ForkingTCPServer(ForkingMixIn, TCPServer): pass # lgtm[py/conflicting-attributes]

In general, multiple inheritance should be used with care. The main issue is when both base classes define the same method, and one is unintentionally overriden. The 'conflicting attributes in base classes' query flags this type of override. If the override is deliberate, as it is in the example, you can add a suppression comment to suppress the alert. Its query identifier is py/conflicting-attributes.

Excluding commented alerts from your analysis

If you perform analysis using LGTM, the suppression comments are automatically recognized. However, if you use alert suppression alongside a QL command line tool, such as analyzeSnapshot, you must add the  AlertSuppression.ql query to your query suite file (or list of queries) so that the tool can identify the suppression comments. For example, the alert suppression query can be directly referenced in a query suite for analysis of Python code as follows: 

# Alert suppression directly referenced in query suite
+ semmlecode-python-queries/analysis/AlertSuppression.ql

Alternatively, if you are using analyzeSnapshot and you haven't specified a --suite flag, you can add the alert suppression query to your list of queries using the --queries flag. For further information see analyzeSnapshot.

When you implement alert suppression, your analysis won't generate alerts for the lines of code where you have added suppression comments. You may wish to take further action, depending on your reason for using alert suppression.

What should I do if an alert is a false positive?

If you believe that a particular alert generated by a standard query is a false positive that should not have been reported, please contact your support team. In the case of custom queries which are problematic, please report issues to the relevant author or distributor. For more information about the query language used to write queries, see Learning QL.