[llvm-dev] RFC: [SmallVector] Adding SVec<T> and Vec<T> convenience wrappers.

Sean Silva via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Mon Nov 30 18:04:49 PST 2020

I'm okay with either 1 or 0 inlined elements for huge value types.

I can buy the argument both ways. It basically comes down to the invariants
we want to provide:

- invariant for "minimum 0 inlined elements" is "sizeof(SmallVector<T>) <=
  - this in theory provides stronger invariants related to excessive memory
usage from the inlined elements
- invariant for "minimum 1 inlined elements" is "at least one inlined
element, possibly more if we can fit it in 64 bytes"
  - this avoids confusion of SmallVector<T> not having inlined elements

I don't think either choice really boxes us out of any future change or
even matters much. So *why don't we all rally around the 1 inlined element
minimum case*? Given the name "SmallVector" (which is a bad name, but folks
will read it as "vector with inlined elements") it seems least surprising
for now.

And in practice huge value types are very rare, so honestly I don't think
that the invariant provided by "minimum 0" really buys us much in practice
when viewed holistically. (also, both cases prevent
SmallVector<SmallVector<T>> from multiplicatively exploding in size which
makes me happy).

I actually was mildly leaning to the "minimum 0" side, but after writing
the above I'm now leaning towards "minimum 1".

There's a larger discussion to be had here which I don't want to block this
change on: Some folks (including me) believe that SmallVector has drifted
from "used for small number of elements" and is in practice more like
"LLVM's better vector" (including using 0 inline elements to replace
std::vector) and the latter interpretation makes the "minimum 0" case make
more sense. But we haven't codified the "use SmallVector / a new
llvm::Vector unless you know you need std::vector" policy, and once we do
then switching to the "minimum 0" case is pretty trivial. I'm very happy to
have that discussion, but it seems incongruous to block the "default N"
change on having that discussion.

-- Sean Silva

On Fri, Nov 27, 2020 at 8:45 PM Chris Lattner <clattner at nondot.org> wrote:

> Sorry for falling off the map on this thread:
> On Nov 17, 2020, at 1:42 PM, David Blaikie <dblaikie at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thoughts/suggestions:
> - Adding the default seems very reasonable to me, and I think that 64
> bytes is a good default.  I think you should change the behavior so that
> SmallVector<LargeThing> defaults to a single inline element instead of zero
> though.  Perhaps generate a static_assert when it is crazy large.
> Out of curiosity: Why a single rather than zero?
> My rationale for this is basically that SmallVector is typically used for
> the case when you want to avoid an out-of-line allocation for a small
> number of elements, this was the reason it was created.  While there is
> some performance benefits of SmallVector<T,0> over std::vector<> they are
> almost trivial.  I don’t see why we’d recommend SmallVector<T,0> over
> vector to get those.  If we were in favor of banning std::vector, then I
> think the reason would be for consistency across the codebase and to get
> things like pop_back_val().
> One other way to handle this is to make there be a static_assert for the
> case where the size is inferred to zero.
> On Nov 25, 2020, at 10:55 PM, Michael Kruse via llvm-dev <
> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
> Am Mi., 25. Nov. 2020 um 17:52 Uhr schrieb David Blaikie via llvm-dev
> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>:
> I'm still not sure why "at least 1" is an important goal. I'd be
> curious to hear from Chris/others why that's especially valuable.
> If N is 0, then it's not a small-size optimized vector, in contrast to
> what the name implies.
> Right, exactly.
> On Nov 17, 2020, at 2:15 PM, Duncan P. N. Exon Smith <dexonsmith at apple.com>
> wrote:
> I'd be a bit concerned about this for two reasons:
> - Adding a large inlined element by-default may reinforce one of the
> problems with SmallVector, that people accidentally put big vectors in
> places that shouldn't have them. If we're going to make accidentally large
> inlined vectors more ergonomic, I think we ought to make 0-element versions
> more ergonomic too.
> I don’t understand your rationale here: the issue in question comes from
> when T is large not when the count is large (since we’re talking about the
> inferred count case).
> - The `static_assert` is going to fail differently on different platforms,
> since `T`'s size will tend to be platform-dependent for large `T`. I'm not
> sure it'll be predictable enough.
> I agree this is a problem.  One way to do that is to make the assert only
> trip on sizeof(void*)==8 hosts or something to make it more “incomplete but
> (more) stable”.
> -Chris
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.llvm.org/pipermail/llvm-dev/attachments/20201130/72e8f894/attachment.html>

More information about the llvm-dev mailing list