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13.21 Constant Definitions

Using literal constants inside instruction patterns reduces legibility and can be a maintenance problem.

To overcome this problem, you may use the define_constants expression. It contains a vector of name-value pairs. From that point on, wherever any of the names appears in the MD file, it is as if the corresponding value had been written instead. You may use define_constants multiple times; each appearance adds more constants to the table. It is an error to redefine a constant with a different value.

To come back to the a29k load multiple example, instead of

     (define_insn ""
       [(match_parallel 0 "load_multiple_operation"
          [(set (match_operand:SI 1 "gpc_reg_operand" "=r")
                (match_operand:SI 2 "memory_operand" "m"))
           (use (reg:SI 179))
           (clobber (reg:SI 179))])]
       ""
       "loadm 0,0,%1,%2")

You could write:

     (define_constants [
         (R_BP 177)
         (R_FC 178)
         (R_CR 179)
         (R_Q  180)
     ])
     
     (define_insn ""
       [(match_parallel 0 "load_multiple_operation"
          [(set (match_operand:SI 1 "gpc_reg_operand" "=r")
                (match_operand:SI 2 "memory_operand" "m"))
           (use (reg:SI R_CR))
           (clobber (reg:SI R_CR))])]
       ""
       "loadm 0,0,%1,%2")

The constants that are defined with a define_constant are also output in the insn-codes.h header file as #defines.