r179736 - [analyzer] Tweak getDerefExpr more to track DeclRefExprs to references.

Jordan Rose jordan_rose at apple.com
Wed Apr 17 19:07:42 PDT 2013

On Apr 17, 2013, at 19:01 , David Blaikie <dblaikie at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM, Jordan Rose <jordan_rose at apple.com> wrote:
>> On Apr 17, 2013, at 18:35 , David Blaikie <dblaikie at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 6:14 PM, Jordan Rose <jordan_rose at apple.com> wrote:
>> On Apr 17, 2013, at 17:15 , Anna Zaks <ganna at apple.com> wrote:
>> +  // This is not valid C++; dynamic_cast with a reference type will throw
>> an
>> +  // exception if the pointer does not match the expected type. However,
>> our
>> +  // implementation of dynamic_cast will pass through a null pointer...or a
>> +  // "null reference"! So this branch is actually possible.
>> +  if (&val == 0) { //expected-note {{Assuming pointer value is null}}
>> I know this is just a test, but the comment is bogus. Instead it's something
>> like this:
>> // This is not valid C++; if 'ptr' were null, creating 'ref' would be
>> illegal.
>> // However, this is not checked at runtime, so this branch is actually
>> possible.
>> Shouldn't the SA just be diagnosing the initialization of the
>> reference 'val' as problematic, rather than the later use? The code is
>> UB because of that reference initialization.
>> Yes and no. We actually tried forbidding the creation of null lvalues for a
>> while, but it turned out that not only does that seem to be legal,
> The specifics are a bit tricky here, but my understand is the
> dereference itself is not UB, but initializing the reference is. (at
> least that's how UBSan has been implemented & I'll take Richard's word
> for it - though I think the wording got better/more clear here in
> C++11, too)

Sorry, yes, I didn't finish the thought. We rely on that by banning it whenever a reference crosses a function boundary.

>> The next problem here is that we don't actually find out that the pointer is
>> null until the if-case.  At this point the reference has already been
>> defined, and whatever path we've taken to get to the purported null
>> dereference might have relied on using the reference. Even if we realized
>> there was a problem, it could be difficult to report it in a sensible way.
>> What we could do is check the reference at initialization time in
>> UndefinedAssignmentChecker, like we do for return values
>> (ReturnUndefChecker) and function parameters (CallAndMessageChecker). At
>> this point, if we can't prove a pointer is null (to warn about it), we'd
>> just assume it's non-null.
>> We've discussed this before, and I think we decided against it because
>> people do make this mistake, and strictly following the C++ standard here
>> would cause us not to warn about it at all. (Most compilers do not insert
>> runtime checks for this undefined behavior.) The ideal case would be to make
>> the assumption at bind time, and then show that the branch is dead, but the
>> analyzer doesn't currently have a good way to assert that something is true
>> on all paths, rather than just some path...which is critical for dead-code
>> checking.
> Really? That seems strange. There's no constant condition evaluation?
> (even things as simple as "if (false)" - which this should be
> equivalent to)

Just to illustrate, the issue is not that there's no constant condition evaluation, but that the analyzer evaluates things based on the path it's taken so far. So in this case, you reach the if-statement twice, but the value is known both times.

int x = random() ? 0 : 1;
if (x) {

Conversely, in this case you reach the if-statement twice, but the branch you take is always the same:

int x = random() ? 1 : 2;
if (x) {

And finally, in this case two out of three times the branch is the same, but the third time it isn't:

int x = random() ? 0 : random() ? 1 : 2;
if (x) {

This problem is hardly intractable, but we just haven't done it yet. There are added difficulties with inlined functions, which we don't always re-analyze as top-level.

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