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Re: wide-int branch now up for public comment and review

Richard Biener <> writes:
>> So the precision variable is good for the rtl level in several ways:
>> - As you say, it avoids adding the explicit truncations that (in practice)
>>   every rtl operation would need
>> - It's more efficient in that case, since we don't calculate high values
>>   and then discard them immediately.  The common GET_MODE_PRECISION (mode)
>>   <= HOST_BITS_PER_WIDE_INT case stays a pure HWI operation, despite all
>>   the wide-int trappings.
>> - It's a good way of checking type safety and making sure that excess
>>   bits aren't accidentally given a semantic meaning.  This is the most
>>   important reason IMO.
>> The branch has both the constant-precision, very wide integers that we
>> want for trees and the variable-precision integers we want for rtl,
>> so it's not an "either or".  With the accessor-based implementation,
>> there should be very little cost to having both.
> So what I wonder (and where we maybe disagree) is how much code
> wants to inspect "intermediate" results.  Say originally you have
> rtx foo (rtx x, rtx y)
> {
>   rtx tem = simplify_const_binary_operation (PLUS, GET_MODE (x), x, 
> GEN_INT (1));
>   rtx res = simplify_const_binary_operation (MINUS, GET_MODE (tem), tem, 
> y);
>   return res;
> }
> and with wide-int you want to change that to
> rtx foo (rtx x, rtx y)
> {
>   wide_int tem = wide_int (x) + 1;
>   wide_int res = tem - y;
>   return res.to_rtx ();
> }
> how much code ever wants to inspect 'tem' or 'res'?
> That is, does it matter
> if 'tem' and 'res' would have been calculated in "infinite precision"
> and only to_rtx () would do the truncation to the desired mode?
> I think not.  The amount of code performing multiple operations on
> _constants_ in sequence is extremely low (if it even exists).
> So I'd rather have to_rtx get a mode argument (or a precision) and
> perform the required truncation / sign-extension at RTX construction
> time (which is an expensive operation anyway).

I agree this is where we disagree.  I don't understand why you think
the above is better.  Why do we want to do "infinite precision"
addition of two values when only the lowest N bits of those values
have a (semantically) defined meaning?  Earlier in the thread it sounded
like we both agreed that having undefined bits in the _representation_
was bad.  So why do we want to do calculations on parts of values that
are undefined in the (rtx) semantics?

E.g. say we're adding two rtx values whose mode just happens to be
HOST_BITS_PER_WIDE_INT in size.  Why does it make sense to calculate
the carry from adding the two HWIs, only to add it to an upper HWI
that has no semantically-defined value?  It's garbage in, garbage out.

Providing this for rtl doesn't affect the tree-level operations in any
way.  Although things like addition require both arguments to have the
same precision after promotion, that's trivially true for trees, since
(a) the inputs used there -- C integers and tree constants -- can be
promoted and (b) tree-level code uses fixed_wide_int <N>, where every
fixed_wide_int <N> has the same precision.

And you can still do "infinite-precision" arithmetic on rtx constants
if you want.  You just have to say how you want the constant to be
extended (sign or zero), so that the value of all bits is meaningful.


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