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Re: basic asm and memory clobbers

On 11/20/2015 01:38 PM, David Wohlferd wrote:
On 11/20/2015 3:14 AM, Andrew Haley wrote:
On 20/11/15 10:37, David Wohlferd wrote:
The intent for 24414 is to change basic asm such that it will become
(quoting jeff) "an opaque blob that read/write/clobber any register or
memory location."  Such being the case, "memory" is not sufficient:

#define CLOBBERALL "eax", "ebx", "ecx", "edx", "r8", "r9", "r10", "r11",
"r12", "r13", "r14", "r15", "edi", "esi", "ebp", "cc", "memory"
Hmm.  I would not be at all surprised to see this cause reload
failures.  You certainly shouldn't clobber the frame pointer on
any machine which needs one.

If I don't clobber ebp, gcc just uses it:

         movl    $1000, %ebp
         subl    $1, %ebp
         jne     .L2

I believe you'd have to have magic in there to conditionally clobber the register if it isn't being used as a frame pointer.

That said...

The original purpose of this code was to attempt to show that this kind of
"clobbering everything" behavior (the proposed new behavior for basic asm)
could have non-trivial impact on existing routines. While I've been told that
changing the existing "clobber nothing" approach to this kind of "clobber
everything" is "less intrusive than you might think," I'm struggling to believe
it.  It seems to me that one asm("nop") thrown into a driver routine to fix a
timing problem could end up making a real mess.

But actually we're kind of past that.  When Jeff, Segher, (other) Andrew and
Richard all say "this is how it's going to work," it's time for me to set aside
my reservations and move on.

So now I'm just trying my best to make sure that if it *is* an issue, people
have a viable solution readily available.  And to make sure it's all correctly
doc'ed (which is what started this whole mess).

I'd be perfectly happy to deprecate and later completely remove basic asm within functions.

Because IMO it's essentially useless. It has no inputs, no outputs, and no way to tell the compiler what machine state has been changed. We can say that "it clobbers everything", but that's not actually useful, and quite difficult as you're finding out.

It seems to me that it would be better to remove the feature, forcing what must be an extremely small number of users to audit and update to extended asm.


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