[llvm-dev] RFC: Revisiting LLD-as-a-library design

Shoaib Meenai via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Jun 11 23:55:28 PDT 2021

To second what Jez said here: the new Mach-O backend is still pretty young (e.g. it wasn’t even the default Mach-O backend in LLVM 12). It’s being actively developed, and there’s still the possibility of fairly invasive changes being required to support new features or as we gain more implementation experience.

One of our main motivations for LLD for Mach-O was to improve incremental build speeds for our developers. We’ve found that link speed is a major component of incremental build times; LLD’s speed is a huge win there, and we care a lot about maintaining that speed. I’m CCing Nico, since he’s also been actively benchmarking LLD for Mach-O against Chromium builds (and reporting and fixing speed regressions).

Reid’s proposals (better error handling and eliminating globals) are completely reasonable. In general though, I really appreciate the LLD codebase’s simplicity and think it’s very valuable for understanding and maintaining the code. I haven’t worked too much with the rest of LLVM or Clang, so I’m not at all trying to compare LLD with them or cast aspersions on those codebases; I’m just speaking from my personal perspective. For example, having (mostly) separate codebases for each LLD port set off my “code duplication” spidey senses when I first started working with LLD, but while it does lead to some amount of duplication, there’s also a lot of subtle behavior differences between platforms, and having some amount of duplication is IMO a better tradeoff than e.g. having common functions that have a bunch of conditionals for each platform, or trying to come up with common abstract interfaces that are specialized for each platform, or so on. I really hope we can maintain that simplicity to whatever extent possible.


From: llvm-dev <llvm-dev-bounces at lists.llvm.org> on behalf of Jez Ng via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>
Reply-To: Jez Ng <jezng at fb.com>
Date: Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:14 PM
To: "llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org" <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org>
Subject: Re: [llvm-dev] RFC: Revisiting LLD-as-a-library design

As one of the people working on the new Mach-O backend, my main concerns are:

  1.  The Mach-O backend is still very much in flux, and will likely remain so until the end of this year. Whoever undertakes this library-fication should sync up with us to avoid e.g. awkward merge conflicts.
  2.  Performance is very important to us, and this library-fication should not regress it. Right now, we don't have a good benchmarking service set up (the LNT server only benchmarks LLD-ELF); we've been mostly just profiling things locally. I can send these benchmarking instructions to whomever takes on this effort.
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