[llvm-dev] TBAA

David Blaikie via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri Jun 18 11:13:16 PDT 2021

I don't have great data, but if you have any relevant benchmarks of your
own you can try them -f{no-}strict-aliasing to compare their performance

On Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 11:11 AM Victor Yodaiken <victor.yodaiken at gmail.com>

> Exactly.  The C Standards committee has justified complex rules for
> programmers and compiler writers ( which seem to often cause programmers to
> yell at compiler writers) on the basis of optimization gains - but without
> much documentation. I am looking for information on whether those are
> significant enough to justify the tradeoff.
> thanks
> vy
> On Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 1:03 PM David Blaikie <dblaikie at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 18, 2021 at 10:13 AM Richard Kenner via llvm-dev <
>> llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>> > I would think that in a language like C, the role of the optimizer
>>> > should be to do optimizations that are difficult or impossible or
>>> > time consuming for the programmer.
>>> That's a philosphical question.  Keep in mind that very few
>>> programmers nowadays, even in C, have a good idea of the underlying
>>> machine model (or even the fact that there *is* such a model), so they
>>> don't really even know what to do.  Also, think of macro expansion and
>>> such.  And maintenance costs over time if you add all of the
>>> "clutter".  I would argue against that view.
>>> > My concern is that TBAA has a trade-off in terms of the complexity of
>>> the
>>> > language for the programmer
>>> I don't understand.  TBAA implements the rules of the programming
>>> language
>>> with respect to aliasing.  It doesn't change the language in any way, so
>>> I don't see how it can increase the complexity for the programmer.
>>> Perhaps you're arguing that anti-aliasing rules in languages aren't
>>> worth the complexity, but that's a different issue and one that language
>>> design groups look at, not compiler writers.
>> There's a lot of overlap, and it's probably good for language design
>> groups to be talking to compiler writers (as in this thread) to understand
>> what really matters in practice - if the answer was "there aren't
>> significant benefits to using TBAA" then maybe that'd inform language
>> design groups to remove such requirements from their specifications, etc. I
>> expect that's where Victor is coming at this from - to understand/gather
>> implementation experience to inform language design.
>> Or potentially to inform compiler implementations - violating TBAA is UB,
>> so it's valid for an implementation to define that behavior (eg: could
>> change the default to be -fno-strict-aliasing).
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