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Re: How to implement '@' GDB-like operator for libcc1

On 16 March 2015 at 09:32, Jan Kratochvil <> wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Mar 2015 04:22:35 +0100, Manuel López-Ibáñez wrote:
>> Thus, the question is what info GDB needs from GCC to be able to print
>> the contents of the array.
> Variable with an array type in DWARF.

How does it work then for pointers?

int *p = malloc(...);

(gdb) p *p@3

should also work.

>> And it probably just needs the type of whatever is to the left of @ and the
>> value of whatever is to the right of @, no?
> There are two ways how to fix that.  As '@' makes sense only at the outermost
> operator of an expression GDB could strip it and not to pass it to GCC at all.
> But then there would be unhandled corner cases like parentheses:
>         (gdb) print (*a@3)

Would it be so difficult to strip parentheses? I honestly think it
might be easier than adding special handling for @ to the C parser.

I think there are more options: GDB could also convert @ to something
that GCC can understand, like a function call, or a cast to a
gdb-defined type, and that will trigger the generation of the desired

> Then there also is an option to hook GDB somewhere into the expression parser
> of GCC.  GDB currently implements 'compile print' just by compiling a special
> generated .c file into .o and running .o + parsing the .o's DWARF to find the
> proper type, see below.

There is also the option that GDB calls directly into the parser and
when it detects an expression containing @ that GCC cannot parse, uses
GCC to split the left and right operand around @. This would need some
tweaking of the parser (override the error function, save intermediate
parsing results), but it goes in the right direction: Making the
parser more generally re-usable. I admit it is harder than the above.

> Depending on the DWARF types of __gdb_expr_val and __gdb_expr_ptr_type GDB will
> pass the boolean flag '__gdb_expr_take_address' to handle arrays correctly, one
> can see it for:

Would it be possible for GDB to generate code such that this trick is
generated for @? Perhaps by creating a dummy array variable, then
applying typeof(dummy) like you do below.

> (gdb) l
> 1       int main(void) {
> 2       int i=0;         __auto_type i_val=i; typeof(i) *i_ptr_type;
> 3       int a[]={1,2,3}; __auto_type a_val=a; typeof(a) *a_ptr_type;
> 4       return 0; }
> (gdb) ptype i_val
> type = int
> (gdb) ptype i_ptr_type
> type = int *
>         -> i_ptr_type == i_val * => __gdb_expr_take_address=true
> (gdb) ptype a_val
> type = int *
> (gdb) ptype a_ptr_type
> type = int (*)[3]
>         -> i_ptr_type == (&*i_val)* && i_val is array => __gdb_expr_take_address=false
> Implemented by:



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