Giving hints to the compiler/optimizer (#pragma hint ...)

Martin Sebor
Tue Jun 26 03:16:00 GMT 2018

>>> When the reference passed to f() is bound to an object that's
>>> defined const GCC could assume that the call to f() doesn't
>>> change it and emit better code but, unfortunately, it does not.
>>> As a result, even though GCC could avoid the test below, it
>>> emits it.
>>>    void g (void)
>>>    {
>>>      const std::vector<int> v;
>>>      int n = v.size ();
>>>      f (v);
>>>      if (v.size () != n)
>>>        __builtin_abort ();
>>>    }
>>> GCC does eliminate such tests in the simple cases when v is
>>> a fundamental type like int, but not when it's a struct (even
>>> a trivial one containing just an int).
>> Hmm. if that is really true then I would be negatively surprised.
>> I just tested it with the the latest g++ (v9) and it gives a compile
>> error
>> if one tries to modify the vector inside f().
>> And that is the expected behaviour, so I wonder which compiler &
>> version you
>> mean?
> Ok, you mean this:
>   if (v.size () != n)
>     __builtin_abort ();
> But the compliler cannot know that size() returns a vector-internal value,
> ie. it could also be an external value, therefore it can't optimize it
> away, IMO.

Jonathan already made it clear earlier that GCC can determine
that the return value of vector::size() doesn't change between
successive calls to the function because it's is trivially
inline and doesn't modify any data, and therefore can
eliminate all but the first call.

For a reduced test case showing the missing optimization see
bug 86318.


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