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Plugin API Comments (was Re: GCC Plug-in Framework ready to port)

1- Agree on a common API and document it in

So to get the ball rolling, here are some comments on the API as documented:


(1) register_callback is an unnecessary API. It's already possible to use dlsym() to get a pointer to a symbol in a plug-in. A plug-in could export a function symbol corresponding to each hook it is interested in; that way a plug-in would simply have things like


instead of needing to register that callback. Equivalently, a global data structure in the plug-in could map hook UIDs to function pointers, giving the same effect. This latter approach would provide very elegant hook versioning.

(2) It would be very nice to be able to store trees between passes; right now, our custom version of GCC has a separate garbage-collection root for plug-ins so that they can store data between passes.

(3) The -fplugin-arg argument is one way to do arguments. We do it as


We also have a magic argument called FILE that lets you load arguments from a file.

(4) We strongly support the user () GCC attribute.


As a second note, we have some debugging tools we could contribute as soon as an API is fixed, including a GIMPLE visualizer with GDB integration.

We also have a file (called parameter.def) which formalizes the macros that are valid for each type of GIMPLE tree node. We use this .def file extensively when handling trees in a generic way (such as for pretty-printing).

Sean Callanan

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