[llvm-dev] ORC and MCJIT clients: Heads up, API breaking changes in the pipeline.

Lang Hames via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Tue May 24 14:06:21 PDT 2016

Hi All,

I'm going to be making some API breaking changes to the ORC APIs, and to
the RuntimeDyld class (which underlies MCJIT). The changes may affect MCJIT
clients but are unlikely to. Where they do the fixes are likely to be
trivial. ORC clients will be affected, but the fixes should also be

I have three upcoming changes in mind:

1) RuntimeDyld (the linker underlying MCJIT and ORC) will now search for
symbols using the SymbolResolver's findSymbolInLogicalDylib first, before
falling back to the findSymbol method if findSymbolInLogicalDylib returns a
null result.

This is a step towards making RuntimeDyld behave more like a static linker:
we prefer to link against symbols defined in the same "logical dylib" as
the module being JIT'd, before linking against external symbols.

For clients that have not implemented findSymbolInLogicalDylib (I suspect
this covers most clients) this change will have no effect: the default
version of findSymbolInLogicalDylib will be called and will return null,
and RuntimeDyld will fall back to calling findSymbol as it did before.

For clients that have implemented findSymbolInLogicalDylib: Beware that any
symbol found via this call will now shadow symbols that might have been
found via findSymbol. It is unlikely that anyone is relying on
non-shadowing so I don't expect any trouble here, but if you do see any
changes in symbol resolution after this change (which I expect to land
today) this is something to have in mind.

2) MemoryManager deregisterEHFrames will be removed.

Memory managers should own their registered EH frames and deregister them
on destruction. This will bring EH frame ownership in line with memory
ownership: memory managers are already responsible for freeing the memory
that they've allocated when they are destructed.

To transition, clients should track the frames registered by their class,
then deregister them in the destructor. For in-tree memory managers (and
RuntimeDyld itself) this bug is being tracked by https://llvm.org/PR23991 .

3) Some operations in the ORC APIs, RuntimeDyld, SymbolResolver and
MemoryManager will be modified to return Error/Expected.

MCJIT and ORC both support remote execution of JIT'd code via RPC, but
there is currently no way to cleanly bail out and report failure in the
case of an RPC error. Adding error returns provides the mechanism we need.

When the interfaces are changed to add error returns clients will see
compile-time errors for any custom ORC-based stacks, derived symbol
resolvers, or memory managers. Most clients will just be able to update
their offending return types and leave their function body as-is (for
Expected<T> returns) or return llvm::Error::success() (for Error returns).
Clients who are actually using the remote-JITing features will now be able
to return any errors that they had previously been dropping or bailing out
on. This change is being tracked by https://llvm.org/PR22612 .

I've held off making these changes for a while, because I know there are a
lot of out-of-tree JIT clients and I want to avoid breaking your code. I
think this churn is worth the pain though - the resulting APIs will have
less historical baggage, be more error-proof, and enable some new features.

Please let me know if you have any questions or run into any trouble as
these changes land - I'll be happy to help out.

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