[LLVMdev] LLVM for dynamic languages

Rayiner Hashem gtg990h at mail.gatech.edu
Sun Sep 14 00:58:02 PDT 2003

> That said, many dynamic languages should be cleanly mappable to the LLVM
> layer. What are you thinking about in particular? 
Not thinking of one in particular right now, but it would probably something 
like an object-oriented Scheme. 

> recommend writing some language tuned optimizations (as necessary) that
> would lower the dynamic objects into the primitives the optimizers
> already understand.
Yep. I'm assuming that a language-specific optimizer would handle things like 
type inference, so the llvm code would either see plain primitives or a 
dynamic representation:

struct object {
	int typecode;

struct integer {
	int typecode;
	int value;

Thus, the calling code could manipulate integers with pointers to objects. 

> If you can express the method dispatch in a way that is useful to the
> preexisting optimizations, of course, you wouldn't have to do anything
> special to support this (C++/Java v-tables fit into the catagory).
As far as I can see, casting needs to be done only once. All the calling code 
knows is that it has a pointer to an object. After using the typecode to 
lookup the method to call, it calls a given function, passing it the object 
parameter. This function knows the precise llvm type of the object, so it 
needs to cast the object* to (say) an integer*. Come to think of it, C++/Java 
code needs to do the same thing, though the dispatch mechanism is different. 
Since llvm doesn't appear to have any notion of inheritence, C++/Java virtual 
methods should need to cast their 'this' pointer to the precise type. I 
presume this doesn't interfere too much with the other optimizations? 

	Rayiner Hashem

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