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Re: C as used/implemented in practice: analysis of responses

On Fri, 26 Jun 2015, Peter Sewell wrote:

> > It's s simple matter of points-to analysis.  &foo + anything may be
> > assumed (in practice) to point to something within foo (or just past the
> > end) and not to alias anything accessed through a pointer based on &bar.
> > If the compiler can see something like &foo + (&bar - &foo) there is no
> > guarantee of whether it will assume it to point within foo or bar and that
> > may not be consistent for different uses (so it may end up concluding the
> > pointer compares unequal to itself).
> Ok, that's fine in some (perhaps most) situations, but it's not
> compatible with what seems to be a significant body of systems code
> out there - people mentioned important usages in FreeBSD, Linux, QEMU,
> and other places. How can these be reconciled?  We imagine:

Does that code actually access the same object via both routes in code 
that might get moved past each other (or values get reused because the 
compiler didn't think they could have changed) as a consequence of the 
points-to analysis?  If the aliasing isn't visible, it's less likely to 
cause problems.

> a) Compilation of that systems code could turn off this analysis (and
> whatever optimisation depends on it) entirely.  What's the cheapest
> way to do that?

I think -fno-tree-pta should disable it (I don't know what the cost of 
that is).

Joseph S. Myers

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