[LLVMdev] FreeBSD's 11.0-CURRENT contrib/llvm/include/llvm/ADT/IntrusiveRefCntPtr.h's IntrusiveRefCntPtr and its use violates C++ privacy rules

Mark Millard markmi at dsl-only.net
Sat Mar 14 17:36:27 PDT 2015

When trying to build the 11.0-CURRENT clang 3.5 on powerpc64 I ran into a violation of C++ accessibility rules (for private) that stopped the compile. So not the usual defect category. (This was a bootstrapping procedure as powerpc/powerpc64 FreeBSD world’s clang has an odd status and getting from 3.4 under 10.1-STABLE to 3.5 on 11.0-CURRENT is not automatic.)

Given the language rules and difficulty interpreting them I figured an open discussion area might be the better place to go until/unless someone from llvm agrees with the information. I'm not sure what priority being non-standard has for points other compilers have trouble with for the code.

I have looked on the web and Revision 232289 of IntrusiveRefCntPtr.h still has the same code structure for the issue.

The problem...

FreeBSD 11.0-CURRENT's contrib/llvm/include/llvm/ADT/IntrusiveRefCntPtr.h has...

  template <typename T>
  class IntrusiveRefCntPtr {
    T* Obj;

    template <class X>
    IntrusiveRefCntPtr(IntrusiveRefCntPtr<X>&& S) : Obj(S.get()) {
      S.Obj = 0;

To first illustrate a (partial) but-simpler-to-follow example use that would show the problem with the above:

using Ta = ...;
using Tb = ...;// Not the same type, more than just a name change.

// Note that private members of IntrusiveRefCntPtr<Ta>
// are not (should not be) accessible to
// IntrusiveRefCntPtr<Tb> methods (and vice-versa).

IntrusiveRefCntPtr<Ta> a{}

IntrusiveRefCntPtr<Tb> b{a};

// We then would have a usage where an example of:


is then trying to access an example of

IntrusiveRefCntPtr<Ta>'s Obj private member.

It would take a friend relationship to be established to allow the cross-type access to Obj.

The code in contrib/llvm/tools/clang/lib/Frontend/ChainedIncludesSource.cpp has such a use and so makes an instance of the violation of the language rules in the actual code.

The function clang::createChainedIncludesSourceIt uses classes... 

class ChainedIncludesSource : public ExternalSemaSource
class ExternalSemaSource : public ExternalASTSource
class ExternalASTSource : public RefCountedBase<ExternalASTSource>
template <class Derived> class RefCountedBase;

and it uses both of the following types...


In fact IntrusiveRefCntPtr<ChainedIncludesSource> is the return-expresison type for the following routine that has return type IntrusiveRefCntPtr<ExternalSemaSource>...

IntrusiveRefCntPtr<ExternalSemaSource> clang::createChainedIncludesSource(
    CompilerInstance &CI, IntrusiveRefCntPtr<ExternalSemaSource> &Reader) {
  IntrusiveRefCntPtr<ChainedIncludesSource> source(new ChainedIncludesSource());
  return source;

Mark Millard
markmi at dsl-only.net

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