[cfe-dev] [llvm-dev] RFC: A new ABI for virtual calls, and a change to the virtual call representation in the IR

Mehdi Amini via cfe-dev cfe-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Mar 11 18:05:15 PST 2016

> On Mar 11, 2016, at 1:40 PM, Rafael Espíndola via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>> And you can't also just produce STV_PROTECTED for every symbol. I
>>> would love for that to be the case, but while most ELF systems support
>>> copy relocations and related PLT hacks for functions it is not
>>> practical to do it.
>> I’m sorry, I'm not familiar with the technical problems here.
>> For example, I don’t understand why protected symbols require new relocations.
>> I would expect that, as far as relocations go, they would be treated the same as
>> hidden symbols within the linkage unit, and the same as default symbols outside of it.
> It is not that they require. It is the other way, they don't really
> work with copy relocations.
> The issue is that a non -fPIC program can link with a shared library.
> When it does that the only way to keep pointer equality is for the
> dynamic linker to
> * Copy data from .so to the main program
> * Use a PLT entry in the main program as the address of functions
> with that a protected visibility symbols ends up living in the main
> executable. That is not well supported.
>>> Except that we still produce STV_DEFAULT. Basically we have a mode
>>> where we handle GVs as if they were protected but produce a
>> Yes, I don’t think this is a justifiable position.  We either do or do not support
>> interposition of global definitions.
> I don't see why it has to be black and white like that. We have been
> producing STV_DEFAULT for some time. I don't know how much we would
> drop in performance if we just started not inlining some functions
> just to keep them STV_DEFAULT.
>>> In summary, I think it is important that
>>> * a __attribute__((visibility("protected"))) maps to STV_PROTECED
>>> * by default a decl with no attributes maps to STV_DEFAULT
>> It’s not really my place to decide whether or not -fsemantic-interposition should be
>> the default, so I’ll leave this up to others to debate.
>> My instinct is that interposition is not actually important to very many people,
>> and that the people who rely on it won’t really mind having to opt in.  We have
>> also been optimizing as if semantic interposition were disabled for many years,
>> and I don’t remember hearing widespread complaints about it.  So I would
>> encourage us to turn it off by default, despite not matching GCC.  But like I
>> said, that is not ultimately my call, and I’ll leave the decision to others.
> The problem is not interposition being on or off by default. The
> problem is that you are proposing locking that with producing
> STV_DEFAULT or STV_PROTECTED, and I don't think we can just start
> producing STV_PROTECTED everywhere.
> I am personally fine having clang behave like gcc (STV_DEFAULT, assume
> regular decls with -fPIC can be interposed), but would like to know
> what other ELF users think of that before forcing them to select
> between not inlining with -fPIC or getting STV_PROTECTED.
> BTW, note that if are going to produce STV_PROTECTED anyway, we don't
> need -fsemantic-interposition, we can just use -fvisibility=protected.

My impression is that it is not nice to have in the IR a "default" visibility that change semantic in a platform specific way. I'd expect to have well defined visibility and the front-end making the visibility choice he wants, possibly with a  different default on each platform. It seems to me it would be easier to support the different variant in LLVM with such a model.
But I may miss some obvious problem with such an approach as well, and I'm interested in your opinion on this.


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