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Re: inline asm and multi-alternative constraints
- From: Jeff Law <law at redhat dot com>
- To: David Wohlferd <dw at LimeGreenSocks dot com>, Richard Henderson <rth at redhat dot com>, "gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org" <gcc at gcc dot gnu dot org>
- Cc: pinskia at gcc dot gnu dot org, rearnsha at gcc dot gnu dot org, Sandra Loosemore <sandra at codesourcery dot com>
- Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 16:06:23 -0700
- Subject: Re: inline asm and multi-alternative constraints
- Authentication-results: sourceware.org; auth=none
- References: <562DA0E2 dot 1040405 at LimeGreenSocks dot com> <562FE71E dot 7010309 at redhat dot com> <563285D8 dot 6020001 at redhat dot com> <563430F8 dot 7020406 at LimeGreenSocks dot com>
On 10/30/2015 09:09 PM, David Wohlferd wrote:
I think the fundamental problem here is we ought not be exposing those
modifiers to the user. They're inherently tied to the details of the
register allocation and reloading passes.
I have updated the non-md text with (most of) the changes I think it
needs (attached). These changes are pleasantly minor, mostly just
adding some example text and a bit of formatting.
However. Trying to actually use the information on this page is turning
up some problems.
Probably more complex than anyone could put in a couple pages of text.
You're in the realm of some of the most complex code in GCC.
First, it could use a bit more clarity in the text that describes how
gcc chooses among the alternatives. There are apparently 3 criteria
that affect this decision: # of statements needed to copy params, order
of alternatives, and flags. But it appears that they aren't all
weighted equally. For example no number of '?' seem to be able to
override an alternative that causes a reload (change the example below
to use eax instead of ebx). But before I try to re-phrase this
paragraph, I'm hoping someone can provide more details. What exactly
are the rules here?
Second, attempting to use ! and $ isn't working the way the docs led me
to expect (actually, I can't make them work at all). Starting with this
(contrived) i386 code, gcc selects the second alternative (using -O2 for
x64). This makes sense to me.
?? is not the same as !
In fact, no documented number of ?s are equivalent to a !. More than
one ! is meaningless.
A "reload" has a very specific meaning and unless someone is intimately
familiar with the inner workings of GCC a definition of a reload isn't
going to make any sense. Worse yet, some ports don't use "reload"
anymore, but the new code still supports ? and ! to some degree for
We ought to bury those modifiers into the developer manual and avoid
them in the user manual completely.