# A hole in Clang’s -Wsuggest-override

Consider this code (Godbolt):

struct B {
virtual int f() = 0;
virtual int g() = 0;
};

struct C : B {
int f() override;

virtual int g() final;  // overrides
virtual int h() final;  // doesn't
};


In any real codebase, you should never ever use virtual and final together like this.

Use only virtual (preferably with =0) in root classes.

Use only override or final (without virtual) in non-root classes.

So this code is extremely unrealistic.

However, I was surprised that Clang’s -Wsuggest-override diagnostic is not smart enough to complain here. The syntax of this code fails to indicate its meaning — obviously, because C::g() and C::h() have the same syntax but different meanings. Therefore, the compiler really ought to discourage the programmer from writing this “ambiguous” syntax.

By the way, kudos to Clang for implementing -Wsuggest-override at all. I recommend that everybody turn it on immediately!

-Wall includes -Winconsistent-missing-override, which warns within classes that are already using override in some places but not others. -Wsuggest-override is more advanced; it diagnoses missing override keywords even in classes that don’t already use it.

I think I want a diagnostic spelled something like -Wsuggest-omit-virtual.

Stylistically, the virtual keyword should be used only on roots; the absence of virtual unambiguously signals the intentional absence of root-ness, in the same way that the absence of override/final (in modern code) unambiguously signals the intentional absence of overriding-ness. The proper shape of class C is thus:

struct C : B {
int f() override;

int g() final;  // overrides
virtual int h() final;  // doesn't
};


g’s syntax now differs from h’s, which is appropriate, because g’s meaning differs from h’s. The use of virtual and final together in h’s signature indicates that h is both a root and a leaf — highly unrealistic, but technically possible!