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Re: Endianess attribute

On Thu, Jul 02, 2009 at 06:54:52PM -0400, Ken Raeburn wrote:
> On Jul 2, 2009, at 16:44, Michael Meissner wrote:
>> Anyway I had some time during the summit, and I decided to see how  
>> hard it
>> would be to add explicit big/little endian support to the powerpc  
>> port.  It
>> only took a few hours to add the support for __little and __big  
>> qualifier
>> keywords, and in fact more time to get the byte swap instructions  
>> nailed down
> That sounds great!
>>  (there are restrictions that named
>> address space variables can only be global/static or referenced  
>> through a
>> pointer).
> That sounds like a potential problem, depending on the use cases.  No  
> structure field members with explicit byte order?  That could be  
> annoying for dealing with network protocols or file formats with  
> explicit byte ordering.

The technical report that named address spaces is based on does not allow you
to mix address spaces within a structure (pointers to different address spaces
can be mixed, just not the data themselves).  For example, stack variables are
always in the generic address space.  I do tend to think it would be better to
have little/big be more offical than a target specific thing.  However, most of
the places you need to modify for named address spaces are the places you need
to modify for mixed endian.

> On the other hand, if we're talking about address spaces... I would  
> guess you could apply it to a structure?  That would be good for  
> memory-mapped devices accepting only one byte order that may not be that 
> of the main CPU.  For that use case, it would be unfortunate to have to 
> tag every integer field.
> I don't think Paul indicated what his use case was...

Michael Meissner, IBM
4 Technology Place Drive, MS 2203A, Westford, MA, 01886, USA

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