[cfe-dev] Clang plugins
pidgeot18 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 13:58:53 PDT 2012
Several months ago , I proposed a plugin API for clang, but I have
seen no traction on getting it into the tree. Given the increased
documentation for plugins (see
<http://clang.llvm.org/docs/ClangPlugins.html>), I am beginning to feel
that is urgent to settle on a direction for plugins.
In my opinion, the biggest problem I want to solve with plugins as they
are now is the need for a cumbersome -Xclang -load -Xclang
/path/to/plugin.so -Xclang -add-plugin -Xclang <plugin name> syntax and
to replace it with a more tenable -fplugin=/path/to/plugin.so. Beyond
that, the other major issue is that the current way plugins are
specified in the source code feels broken:
1. The PluginASTAction inherits from ASTFrontendAction, but it is never
used as an ASTFrontendAction if -add-plugin is used. Given that clang is
now a sufficiently robust compiler, I think the utility of having a
plugin system that doesn't cause normal processing to occur is rather
low (you could use -fsyntax-only if you really don't want to do anything
other than parse the tree and run plugins).
2. The PluginASTAction does not lend itself to adding future hooks that
do things other than passively watch the parser, such as modifying the
list of optimization passes or tool invocations.
3. The use of the static registry initializer makes it impossible to
gate decisions of what to make available.
What are people's opinions on this topic?
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