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Re: no_new_pseudos

On Jul  6, 2007, Ian Lance Taylor <> wrote:

> Richard Sandiford <> writes:
>> That's why it seems so odd to me to want to get rid of the port uses
>> and not replace it with something directly equivalent.  I just don't
>> see how it qualifies as a clean-up.  I think tying the ports even
>> more to reload-specific conditions, even when we already have a more
>> abstract concept, is the wrong way to go.

> At the risk of disturbing the bikeshed painting, what do you think of
> this patch?

It's better, because it retains an easy-to-search-for interface, but
it still doesn't match the abstraction expected by back-end uses.  Let
me try to explain why it is important to retain this interface.

First, a trivial nit: regalloc_started_p should become true when
local(-regalloc) started, and I assume you meant it to become true
only when reload started.  This might seem like an irrelevant point,
but I'll show below why it is more relevant than it seems.

regalloc_started_p is still at a lower level of abstraction than
no_new_pseudos.  Just because no_new_pseudos can be currently
implemented in terms of regalloc_started_p, it's not obvious that it
will remain so.

Consider changes in reload that enable it to cope with the creation of
new pseudos up to a certain point.  Would we then have to change all
occurrences of regalloc_started_p() that mean no_new_pseudos to
(regalloc_started_p() && !new_pseudos_still_ok_p ()).

Consider that we drop reload entirely and come up with a global
allocator that can cope with new pseudos up to a certain point, but
not all the way to the end.  Do we then change regalloc_started_p()
such that it becomes true only in the middle of this global allocator?
Or audit all uses of regalloc_started_p() so as to verify wether it
means no_new_pseudos or actually regalloc_started_p?

Consider that local and or global are changed in such a way that they
start using expanders that currently use no_new_pseudos.  Well, surely
expanders that create new pseudos after local or global get poorer
register allocation than those that run before register allocation
starts.  Someone looking at the backends might think
regalloc_started_p() is there for performance reasons, rather than for
correctness reasons, and make incorrect decisions based on that.  At
some point, it may be difficult to tell whether certain uses were
mis-uses based on an incorrect understanding of what
regalloc_started_p really stood for, because it could arguably mean
both.  Some might even be tempted to change its definition such that
it is "more correct", and then ports would break that depended on the
semantics of no_new_pseudos to work.

Arguably, we should have another abstraction to enable ports to tell
not only whether it's *possible* to create new pseudos, but whether
it's *efficient* to do so.  This pair of abstractions could then be
implemented in terms of a similar enumeration to the one I suggested
before, but adding yet another value:

enum { BEFORE_REGALLOC = -2,
       DURING_REGALLOC = -1,
       DURING_RELOAD = 0,
       AFTER_RELOAD = 1
     } regalloc_state;

#define reload_in_progress (regalloc_state == DURING_RELOAD)
#define reload_completed (regalloc_state > DURING_RELOAD)
#define no_new_pseudos (regalloc_state >= DURING_RELOAD)
#define inefficient_new_pseudos (regalloc_state > BEFORE_REGALLOC)

And then, had we introduced this abstraction you proposed, we might
end up with something like:

#define regalloc_started_p() (regalloc_state >= DURING_RELOAD)
#define real_regalloc_started_p() (regalloc_state >= DURING_REGALLOC)

See why imprecise abstractions are a problem, and why lowering
abstractions just because it's possible ATM, without any performance
or maintainability gains to justify them, is a losing proposition in
the long run?

Alexandre Oliva
FSF Latin America Board Member
Red Hat Compiler Engineer   aoliva@{,}
Free Software Evangelist  oliva@{,}

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