[llvm-dev] [RFC][ThinLTO] llvm-dis ThinLTO summary dump format

Teresa Johnson via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Jul 19 08:43:15 PDT 2017

On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 8:31 AM, David Blaikie <dblaikie at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 5:18 PM Mehdi AMINI <joker.eph at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2017-07-17 16:49 GMT-07:00 David Blaikie via llvm-dev <
>> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>:
>>> On Mon, Jul 17, 2017 at 6:11 AM Charles Saternos via llvm-dev <
>>> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>>> Hey @chandlerc and @dblaikie,
>>>> Any updates on this in relation to "[PATCH] D34080: [ThinLTO] Add
>>>> dump-summary command to llvm-lto2 tool"?
>>> Sorry you've kind of got stuck in the middle of this - but I'm still
>>> hoping to hear/understand the pushback on implementing this as a first
>>> class .ll construct with serialization and deserialization support.
>>> I think Peter mentioned he didn't think this was the right path forward
>>> in the long term? If that's the case, I'd like to understand that/reach
>>> that conclusion for the project now rather than treating this as a stop-gap
>>> with some idea that in the future someone might implement full
>>> serialization support (when it's been over a year already, and other stop
>>> gaps have been implemented (the yaml input support) already).
>> I'm totally believing we need first class serialization support in .ll,
>> and I have a path forward for this (just not a lot of time to dedicate to
>> this).
> What's the rough expectation of time/complexity for this path forward?
>> & if a .ll construct with serialization/deserialization is the path
>>> forward, understanding the motivation for a something other than going
>>> straight for that would be helpful -usually bitcode features come with .ll
>>> support from day 1, not a year later. I'm not clear on what would make this
>>> feature an exception/more expensive to do this for (& why it would be worth
>>> deferring that work, and what/when that work will be motivated/done)
>> We need a debugging tool for summaries ASAP, and the YAML is *already*
>> implemented.
> I'm not sure I understand why the tradeoff is worthwhile - in terms of
> needing to add a new feature (even if it's already implemented) and tests,
> then porting those tests to a first-class .ll construct later. Usually
> adding .ll formats doesn't seem to be terribly expensive/time intensive.

The main complication I see is defining the behavior when the serialized
summary is read back in.
1) Do we trust that it is correct and consistent with the IR and blindly
use it? That could cause some issues if someone changes the IR in a .ll
file for testing and doesn't realize they need to also update the summary
2) Do we always want to build the summary from the IR and check it against
the summary read from the .ll file? In that case, what is even the use of
building a summary from the serialized form?
3) If we want to allow tweaks to the summary in the .ll that override what
is in the IR, for testing purposes, how does any checking we do in 2)
distinguish between the case in 1) (user error) and 3) (intended

This is why I suggested emitting as comments in the .ll file initially
(which is useful for debugging purposes, although the YAML works fine for
that too), while the above are hashed out.

>> Making it available through the llvm-lto tool is a no-brainer to me.
>> This was *not* an oversight but a deliberate choice to not do this in the
>> first place. Because summaries are the first bitcode feature I know of that
>> isn't attached in any way to a Module (you can't get to it from a Module).
> Not sure I quite follow why that difference made the choice/tradeoff here
> different (which admittedly is a bit easier to see in retrospect maybe -
> now that there's been a need to build serialization and deserialization).
> Do you mean it wasn't clear that serialization support was needed when
> summaries were first implemented, but it is clear now?

Speaking for myself, it wasn't clear to me that serialization support was
needed for anything other than debugging/testing, since it is redundant
with and computed from the IR, and I wasn't sure emitting into the .ll file
was the right way for debugging. Which is why the testing used
llvm-bcanalyzer -dump.


> - Dave

Teresa Johnson |  Software Engineer |  tejohnson at google.com |  408-460-2413
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