[cfe-dev] OpenCL support

Anton Lokhmotov Anton.Lokhmotov at arm.com
Wed Jan 19 08:01:44 PST 2011

Hi Chris and Peter,

Many thanks for your comments.  We agree with everything (a revised patch
attached) but this:

> Why define these as keywords in the language?  OpenCL requires an
> implicit prefix header to be included (which has all the conversion
> functions and a bunch of other stuff).  It seems cleaner to just put a
> #define in this header that defines __kernel to expand to an attribute.

Initially, we indeed implemented "kernel" and "__kernel" in this way:

  #define __kernel __attribute__((opencl_kernel_function))
  #define kernel __kernel

The OpenCL specification, however, requires them to be keywords in the
language (section 6.1.9).  This means that the frontend must report if these
are used in an invalid context.

For example, if we define:

#define fakekernel __attribute__((opencl_kernel_function))

and the programmer uses it in a valid context:

fakekernel void fk() {}
void fakekernel fk2() {}

the net result is the same as if the programmer writes:

kernel void k() {}
void kernel k2() {}

Here are couple of invalid examples and the compiler's response in each

1) The kernel function qualifier is used between the function name and the
function body.

- macro implementation
fakekernel_2.cl:2:22: error: expected ';' after top level declarator
void fk() fakekernel {}
- keyword implementation
kernel_2.cl:1:10: error: expected function body after function declarator
void k() kernel {}
The keyword implementation results in a precise error message.

2) The kernel function qualifier is used instead of the function name.

- macro implementation
fakekernel_3.cl:2:17: error: expected identifier or '('
void fakekernel() {}
- keyword implementation
kernel_3.cl:1:13: error: expected identifier or '('
void kernel() {}
The error messages are (confusingly) the same.

3) The kernel function qualifier is used as the name of a variable.

- macro implementation
int_fakekernel.cl:2:1: warning: declaration does not declare anything
int fakekernel;

- keyword implementation
int_kernel.cl:1:1: warning: declaration does not declare anything
int kernel;

Again, the error messages are the same.  Syntax highlighting, however,
differs.  The keyword implementation behaves similar to most other C99
keywords, e.g. "register":

- register
int_register.cl:1:1: warning: declaration does not declare anything
int register;

Slightly confusingly, for some other keywords in this context the error
messages differ, e.g. "while", "for", "return":

- while
int_while.cl:1:5: error: expected identifier or '('
int while = 0;

In summary, we believe that qualifiers that are defined in the specification
as keywords must be implemented as Clang keywords, even if an alternative
implementation is possible.  In that way, error messages can be improved and
behaviour will be consistent with other keywords.

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