[PATCH] D12923: Add support for function attribute "notail"

Akira Hatanaka via llvm-commits llvm-commits at lists.llvm.org
Wed Sep 23 08:48:25 PDT 2015

On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 8:31 AM, Philip Reames <listmail at philipreames.com>

> To be clear, this is a debuging aid only?  It's not something required for
> correctness?  I'm somewhat bothered by that because it seems like it would
> be a useful implementation tool for higher level languages.
It's not purely a debugging aid that helps when you are using the debugger.
There are projects (that are not debuggers) that rely on not missing frames
to produce results that are useful.

> A couple of thoughts in no particular order:
> 1) Can we always annotate the call site rather than the function?  That
> removes the unpredictability due to optimization.

Annotating the call site should be fine. For the use cases that we care
about, it probably isn't important to prevent tail calls on indirect calls.

> 2) Calling it something like "no-direct-tail-call" or "prefer-no-tail"
> would remove some of the confusion value.  When I see "notail", I expect
> that to always be respected; the best effort semantics come as a bit of a
> surprise.

I agree. A name that indicates it's only a best effort option or it's an
option that affects only direct calls would be good.

> 3) This seems analogous to the "tail" marker in that it indicates a
> preference/option.  Whatever we end up with, it needs to be a verifier
> option to have a "tail" or "musttail" call site which is also "notail".  It
> also needs to be an error to have a mustail callsite to a notail function
> (if such ends up existing.)

If we are going to annotate the function, I think we should have the
verifier catch incompatibilities between the markers on the call sites and
the function attribute on the called functions.

If we are annotating the call site, the verifier check isn't needed since
the tail-call related markers are enums that are mutually exclusive.

> 4) It somewhat feels like there are two concepts being intermixed here.
> 1) A call site which will never be a tail call.  2) A function which we
> prefer not to tail call to.  Does it make sense to separate them?
Yes, it makes sense to separate them. For the use case we care about,
either 1) or 2) will do. We don't have to have support for both.

> On 09/21/2015 06:22 PM, Akira Hatanaka wrote:
> Several users have been asking for this function attribute to prevent
> losing the calling functions's information in the backtrace. If we attach
> the attribute to a function, ideally we would want to prevent tail call
> optimization on all call sites that call the function. However, the
> compiler cannot always tell which function is called from a call site if
> it's an indirect call, so it's fine if an indirect call to the marked
> function ends up being tail-call optimized. For direct calls, we want the
> function attribute to prevent tail call 100% of the time.
> We can also use a "notail" marker on the call instruction instead of using
> a function attribute. The only downside of using a marker is that we
> probably will never be able to prevent tail call optimization on indirect
> calls even when the compiler can turn it into a direct call (for example,
> via inlining). I'm not sure at the moment how important this is.
> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 9:47 AM, Philip Reames via llvm-commits <
> <llvm-commits at lists.llvm.org>llvm-commits at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> +llvm-dev
>> Can you give a bit of background on what you're trying to address here?
>> After reading through the discussion and seeing that this is a best effort
>> flag, I'm not sure that a function attribute is the best way to describe
>> this.  I'm open to being convinced it is, but I'd like to hear a bit more
>> about the use case and get broader visibility on the proposal first.
>> Philip
>> On 09/16/2015 07:27 PM, Akira Hatanaka via llvm-commits wrote:
>> ahatanak created this revision.
>> ahatanak added a subscriber: llvm-commits.
>> This patch adds support for a new IR function attribute "notail". The attribute is used to disable tail call optimization on calls to functions marked with the attribute.
>> This attribute is different from the existing attribute "disable-tail-calls", which disables tail call optimizations on all call sites within the marked function.
>> The patch to add support for the corresponding source-level function attribute is here:http://reviews.llvm.org/D12922
>> http://reviews.llvm.org/D12923
>> Files:
>>   docs/LangRef.rst
>>   include/llvm/Bitcode/LLVMBitCodes.h
>>   include/llvm/IR/Attributes.h
>>   include/llvm/IR/Instructions.h
>>   lib/AsmParser/LLLexer.cpp
>>   lib/AsmParser/LLParser.cpp
>>   lib/AsmParser/LLToken.h
>>   lib/Bitcode/Reader/BitcodeReader.cpp
>>   lib/Bitcode/Writer/BitcodeWriter.cpp
>>   lib/CodeGen/SelectionDAG/SelectionDAGBuilder.cpp
>>   lib/IR/Attributes.cpp
>>   lib/IR/Verifier.cpp
>>   lib/Transforms/Scalar/TailRecursionElimination.cpp
>>   test/Bindings/llvm-c/Inputs/invalid.ll.bc
>>   test/Bindings/llvm-c/invalid-bitcode.test
>>   test/Bitcode/attributes.ll
>>   test/Bitcode/invalid.ll
>>   test/Bitcode/invalid.ll.bc
>>   test/CodeGen/X86/attr-notail.ll
>>   test/Transforms/TailCallElim/notail.ll
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