[LLVMdev] Darwin vs exceptions

Dale Johannesen dalej at apple.com
Mon Dec 10 13:06:31 PST 2007

On Dec 10, 2007, at 11:38 AM, Duncan Sands wrote:
>>> ... If you force a "cleanup" by changing the selector call to:
>>>       %eh_select8.i = tail call i32 (i8*, i8*, ...)*
>>> @llvm.eh.selector.i32( i8* %eh_ptr.i, i8* bitcast (i32 (...)*
>>> @__gxx_personality_v0 to i8*), i32 0)
>>> then it doesn't work either: the unwinder observes that there is
>>> only a cleanup, and
>>> using some special logic (bogus in this case) deduces that the
>>> exception will be rethrown
>>> after running the cleanup code (and thus the program terminated), so
>>> doesn't bother running
>>> the cleanup code and directly terminates the program (apparently
>>> terminating programs quickly
>>> was important to whoever wrote the unwinder, I don't know why; the
>>> Ada unwinder doesn't do
>>> this for example :) ).
>> OTOH, claiming that everything has a cleanup seems to me a correct
>> description of what the IR code does:  control reenters the throwing
>> function to execute a possibly null cleanup,  then resumes.
> I agree, and this is why I originally tried to get the desired effect
> using cleanups.
>> The trouble is you can't simply copy that IR while inlining and  
>> expect
>> things to still work, because the operation of Unwind_Resume depends
>> on what stack frame it's in.   I don't agree that the inlined version
>> is correct IR.  The 'invoke semantics' you're talking about are
>> inextricably intertwined with _Unwind_Resume's semantics.
> The semantics of invoke are described in the LangRef.  I took the
> approach of artificially obtaining these semantics, which have an
> impedance mismatch with the gcc unwinder, by playing with the way we
> set up the exception table.  If you manage to obtain invoke semantics
> then you can expect inlining to work.  And I did manage to obtain them
> on linux - so this was a simple solution that also meant I didn't have
> to audit all the optimizers to check how they used invoke (though most
> likely the inliner is the only one that matters).
> You are suggesting changing the meaning of invoke, a bolder approach
> which certainly has some advantages.  If I understand right you want
> to allow some exceptions to unwind through an invoke without branching
> to the unwind label (instead they just keep on unwinding); which
> exceptions are caught is to be determined by the eh.selector call.

No, I don't want to change the semantics of invoke, at least I don't  
think so.
When inlining, I want the inlined throw to reach cleanup code as it  
But I want the Unwind_Resume call that ends the cleanup code to be
replaced with a control transfer to the handler (or cleanup) in the  
function, i.e. the inliner needs to know the semantics of Unwind_Resume.

> In other words, you want to model LLVM's EH on the way the gcc  
> unwinder
> works.

Invoke's reason for existence is supporting EH, and we can't change  
the unwinder, so yes, we have to do that.  So do you, the difference  
is our unwinders don't work quite the same.

> With this model indeed the inliner needs to copy the selector
> to the appropriate places when inlining.  Perhaps some other  
> optimizers
> need to be tweaked too.  Unfortunately this approach immediately hits
> PR1508 (http://llvm.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=1508), i.e. the problem
> of actually finding the selector for a landing pad.  Personally I  
> would
> like to see the selector somehow be attached to the unwind edge -  
> perhaps
> it could be done as part of PR1269.
>>> ... It is true that you can imagine a solution in which the inliner
>>> knows about selector calls
>>> and shuffles them around.  I will think about this.  That said,
>>> invoke is defined to have
>>> certain semantics, and I don't much like the idea of trying to do an
>>> end-run around them
>>> and around optimizers that exploit them...
>> I don't see much choice.  I guess I'll look at getting the inliner to
>> do what I think it should do.   (I'll make it Darwin-specific at
>> first, but it should work on Linux, and let me point out that you'll
>> get more efficient code this way.)
> Yes, you certainly will get more efficient unwinding.  This probably
> doesn't matter much for Ada or C++, but I guess some languages out
> there like to throw exceptions a lot.
>> I guess an easy but undesirable fallback position is to tell the
>> inliner not to inline anything that invokes Unwind_Resume.
> If you push a "cleanup" instead of a catch-all on Darwin, does
> everything work?  This is exactly what you get if you apply your
> patch
> -  lang_eh_catch_all = return_null_tree;
> +/*  lang_eh_catch_all = return_null_tree;*/

No, things are much better than there were, but inlining functions  
that call Unwind_Resume still causes the problem we've been talking  
Disabling that as well makes everything work.

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