[llvm-dev] [LLVM-DEV][LLD] RFC Range Thunks Implementation review for ARM and Mips

Peter Smith via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Apr 6 04:01:57 PDT 2017

My understanding is that this would be (initially) limited to
fabricating enough linker script commands such that we could replace:

With something like:
Script->assignAddresses() // Could be done multiple times
Script->processNonSectionCommands() // This should only be done once

In theory all the other __start and __end symbols could still be kept
separate if the linker script commands were created late, and in a
compatible way. I also don't think that this means removing
OutputSections::Sections just yet either?

I don't think that we are proposing to follow the ld.bfd model of
driving the default case via a built in linker script yet? I think
that this would be considerably more work than just this limited

I think the best way forward is to try and prototype something to see
if it splashes out any special cases. I can give this a go to see what

In the meantime I would be grateful if there is any opportunity to
move forward some of the range thunks changes in parallel, even if
they do not initially work with some linker scripts.

If the above change to always using Script->assignAddresses() did
happen then createThunks() would become a little bit more complicated
as it would need to step through one or more input section
descriptions per OutputSection. Any Thunks created would still need to
be added to both InputSectionDescriptions and OutputSections::Sections
but we could just use push_back().


On 6 April 2017 at 00:24, Rui Ueyama <ruiu at google.com> wrote:
> Are you suggesting other linker jobs such as creating _end symbols to the
> linker script?
> The linker script support was implemented after we wrote the current Writer
> class, so it is somewhat "plugged in" to the Writer. It might not be the
> best design, and not many other options have been explored. So there might
> be room to improve code by moving work loads from the Writer to the
> LinkerScript. But we need to careful not to hurt performance by doing that.
> On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 4:14 PM, Rafael EspĂ­ndola via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> > Proposed implementation for range extension thunks
>> > At a high-level we need to solve the following problems:
>> > - Assign addresses more than once
>> > - Maintain state between successive calls of createThunks()
>> > - Synchronization of the linker script and the OutputSection after
>> > adding thunks
>> This last past seems to be the messier. The issue is not with the
>> patch, is with the existing infrastructure that uses a completely
>> different representation for linker scripts and non linker scripts.
>> What I think is needed is for the writer to create a dummy "script"
>> and use what is now LinkerScript::assignAddresses. That "script" would
>> * Contain only OutputSectionCommand.
>> * All string manipulations would have been moved before assignAddress.
>> * All the orphan handling would have been made explicit before
>> assignAddress.
>> * Each OutputSectionCommand would contain just a InputSectionDescription.
>> With this the thunk creation should be able to add thunk to a single
>> location.
>> Cheers,
>> Rafael
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