[llvm-dev] RFC: Building GlobalISel by default

Renato Golin via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Sat Jan 14 04:57:50 PST 2017

On 14 January 2017 at 01:54, Quentin Colombet via llvm-dev
<llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Now, four backends (if I am counting right: X86, ARM, AArch64, AMDGPU) are working on bringing-up GlobalISel, I’d like to switch the default of the LLVM_BUILD_GLOBAL_ISEL variable in CMake, such that the framework gets built by default.

Hi Quentin,

I'm not extremely confident in a full switch right now, mainly due to
Michael's concerns. The ARM port is in its initial stage and there
could still be many refactorings and destructive changes. I'm not
foreseeing a cross between the isel tests, but every failure makes the
bots red, and if Global ISel incurs in more failures due to its stage
in the development cycle, we'll start seeing the bots more red than
we'd like. Right now, it's already very likely that you'll receive bot
emails on commits, I don't want to increase that.

One alternative is to create a buildbot that turns it on by default,
build all back-ends that use GlobalISel and then let it running for a
while. I don't think we're self-hosting on any architecture right now,
nor we're passing the test-suites, so the bot will probably just be a
simple "make check-all", which is more than enough for the time being.

As soon as we can self-host and pass the test-suite, I think we can
enable it by default.

Some comments inline...

> * Upsides *
> For people developing on GlobalISel, it will:
> - Simplify the CMake command to type :)
> - Build/Test GlobalISel on all the LLVM bots

This is already covered by the people developing Global ISel on the
different architectures. As an experimental feature, I'm ok with the
round time of "ARM developers picking up x86 code breaking their

> For people not developing on GlobalISel, it will:
> - Test that GlobalISel still works with your changes (make check will test that for you)

A separate buildbot will do that for you.

> - Allow you to play with it!

The cost of adding one CMake option is really small.

> * Downsides *
> For people developing on GlobalISel, it will:
> - Leave the status as it is now, meaning that mainly only people working on GlobalISel look at the failures of GlobalISel specific bots

If we already have those, I don't see why we need more. We're not
self-hosting not passing the test-suite. the "check-all" tests should
not matter which platform they run.

> For people not developing for GlobalISel, it will:
> - Increase the compile time since the GlobalISel framework and the related target specific parts will have to be built
> - Increase the size of the binary (depending on what backend you pull)
> - Require the setting of an additional CMake variable to disable it (-DLLVM_BUILD_GLOBAL_ISEL=OFF)

This has a higher impact on slow bots, such as ARM and MIPS, and it's
not a trivial amount of time and space.

On previous occasions (for example integrated-asm, lld, vecorizer), we
have used the "self-host + test-suite passing" model and it worked
well. Meaning, before it passes those two, it should have special
buildbots, after, it can be turned on by default.

To move to the new technology we need an additional step, which is to
fix most remaining bugs, which we have done for the vectorizer and
integrated-asm, but not lld, and that's why the two first are not only
built by default, but enabled by default, while the latter isn't.

I want Global ISel to be a success as much as you do, but I'd rather
go through a smooth path, even if it takes a bit longer.


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