[llvm-dev] RFC: We need to explicitly state that some functions are reserved by LLVM

Chandler Carruth via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Thu Oct 26 20:14:58 PDT 2017

Oh, I forgot to say, thanks to +Hal Finkel <hfinkel at anl.gov> as he helped a
lot by suggesting that `argpromotion` was simply wrong here and with
discussing these ideas. =]

On Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 8:14 PM Chandler Carruth <chandlerc at gmail.com>

> I've gotten a fantastic bug report. Consider the LLVM IR:
> target triple = "x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu"
> define internal i8* @access({ i8* }* %arg, i64) {
>   ret i8* undef
> }
> define i8* @g({ i8* }* %arg) {
> bb:
>   %tmp = alloca { i8* }*, align 8
>   store { i8* }* %arg, { i8* }** %tmp, align 8
>   br i1 undef, label %bb4, label %bb1
> bb1:
>   %tmp2 = load { i8* }*, { i8* }** %tmp, align 8
>   %tmp3 = call i8* @access({ i8* }* %tmp2, i64 undef)
>   br label %bb4
> bb4:
>   ret i8* undef
> }
> This IR, if compiled with `opt -passes='cgscc(inline,argpromotion)'
> -disable-output` hits a bunch of asserts in the LazyCallGraph.
> The problem here is that `argpromotion` turns a normal looking function
> `i8* @access({ i8* }* %arg, i64)` and turn it into a magical function `i8*
> @access(i8* %arg, i64)`. This latter signature is the POSIX `access`
> function that LLVM's `TargetLibraryInfo` knows magical things about.
> Because *some* library functions known to `TargetLibraryInfo` can have
> *calls* to them introduced at arbitrary points of optimization (consider
> vectorized variants of math functions), the new pass manager and its graph
> to provide ordering over the module get Very Unhappy when you *introduce* a
> definition of a library function in the middle of the compilation pipeline.
> And really, we do *not* want `argpromotion` to do this. We don't want it
> to turn some random function by the name of `@free` into the actual `@free`
> function and suddenly change how LLVM handles it.
> So what do we do?
> One option is to make `argpromotion` and every other pass that mutates a
> function's signature rename the function (or add a `nobuiltin` attribute to
> it). However, this seems brittle and somewhat complicated.
> My proposal is that we admit that certain names of functions are reserved
> in LLVM's IR. For these names, in some cases *any* function with that name
> will be treated specially by the optimizer. We can still check the
> signatures when transforming code based on LLVM's semantic understanding of
> that function, but this avoids any need to check things when mutating the
> signature of the function.
> This would require frontends to avoid emitting functions by these names
> unless they should have these special semantics. However, even if they do,
> everything should remain conservatively correct. But I'll send an email to
> cfe-dev suggesting that Clang start "mangling" internal functions that
> collide with target names. I think this is important as I've found a quite
> surprising number of cases where this happens in real code.
> There is no need to auto-upgrade here, because again, LLVM's handling will
> remain conservatively correct.
> Does this seem reasonable? If so, I'll send patches to update the LangRef
> with these restrictions. I'll also take a quick stab at generating some
> example tables of such names from the .td files used by `TargetLibraryInfo`
> already. These can't be authoritative because of the platform-specific
> nature of it, but should help people understand how this area works.
> One alternative that seems appealing but doesn't actually help would be to
> make `TargetLibraryInfo` ignore internal functions. That is how the C++
> spec seems to handle this for example (C library function names are
> reserved only when they have linkage). But this doesn't work well for LLVM
> because we want to be able to LTO an internalized C library. So I think we
> need the rule for LLVM function names to not rely on linkage here.
> Thanks,
> -Chandler
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