[cfe-dev] Integrating clang-based refactoring tools into IDEs - best practices?

Tom Stellard tom at stellard.net
Mon Jun 1 07:13:36 PDT 2015

On Mon, Jun 01, 2015 at 03:54:55PM +0200, Kevin Funk wrote:
> On Saturday 30 May 2015 14:43:44 Milian Wolff wrote:
> > Hello all,
> > 
> > for KDevelop, we have a GSOC student this summer doing a R&D project on how
> > we could leverage libTooling and friends to create refactoring tools for
> > C++ code. I'm pretty sure that this is the correct way in the long run, but
> > I have some trouble with the lack of API and ABI stability in the C++
> > libraries of LLVM, most notably libTooling here.
> I just talked to a few people in #llvm and it appears that library ABI from 
> x.y.0 is supposed to be same for x.y.1 and onwards. So there seems to be a ABI 
> stability guarantee for patch releases. (Can someone from LLVM/Clang devs 
> confirm this? Tom Stellard told me it's indeed "official")

See item #4: http://llvm.org/docs/HowToReleaseLLVM.html#release-patch-rules

> This combined with the fact that distros usually co-install LLVM/Clang minor 
> releases (3.5, 3.6, ...) should avoid us running in ABI issues, no?

3.5 and 3.6 have different ABIs, so you will have to pick one to link against
unless your project has some kind of wrapper library that allows you to support
both versions at the same time.


> I'd really appreciate if we could just use the libTooling API and share parsed 
> data (somehow...) and avoid the multi-process approach altogether. Maybe 
> that's indeed the better approach for our R&D project -- just use the API 
> directly, don't add a wrapper (yet).
> PS: Sorry I didn't step in earlier on the KDevelop mailing list, but I'm 
> buried in "real" work at the moment
> > I was thinking about a separate process that works only against a very
> > specific LLVM version. Thus, if distributors update LLVM, and the stuff does
> > not compile anymore, we only loose the refactoring but not the whole
> > language support (based on clang-c).
> > With this approach though, the cached parse data cannot be shared between
> > language support and refactoring...
> > 
> > How do other IDEs handle this situation? Is there maybe an external
> > libTooling-c shim or similar that we could leverage?
> > 
> > Bye
> -- 
> Kevin Funk | kfunk at kde.org | http://kfunk.org

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