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12.4 Temporaries

When gimplification encounters a subexpression that is too complex, it creates a new temporary variable to hold the value of the subexpression, and adds a new statement to initialize it before the current statement. These special temporaries are known as `expression temporaries', and are allocated using get_formal_tmp_var. The compiler tries to always evaluate identical expressions into the same temporary, to simplify elimination of redundant calculations.

We can only use expression temporaries when we know that it will not be reevaluated before its value is used, and that it will not be otherwise modified1. Other temporaries can be allocated using get_initialized_tmp_var or create_tmp_var.

Currently, an expression like a = b + 5 is not reduced any further. We tried converting it to something like

       T1 = b + 5;
       a = T1;

but this bloated the representation for minimal benefit. However, a variable which must live in memory cannot appear in an expression; its value is explicitly loaded into a temporary first. Similarly, storing the value of an expression to a memory variable goes through a temporary.


[1] These restrictions are derived from those in Morgan 4.8.