[PATCH] [RFC] unreachable returns

Richard Biener rguenther@suse.de
Thu Nov 25 13:23:23 GMT 2021

We have quite a number of "default" returns that cannot be reached.
One is particularly interesting since it says (see patch below):

       gcc_unreachable ();
   /* We can get here with --disable-checking.  */
   return false;

which suggests that _maybe_ the intention was to have the
gcc_unreachable () which expands to __builtin_unreachable ()
with --disable-checking and thus a fallthru to "somewhere"
be catched with a "sane" default return value rather than
falling through to the next function or so.  BUT - that
isn't what actually happens since the 'return false' is
unreachable after CFG construction and will be elided.

In fact the IL after CFG construction is exactly the same
with and without the spurious return.

Now, I wonder if we should, instead of expanding
gcc_unreachable to __builtin_unreachable () with
--disable-checking, expand it to __builtin_trap ()
(or remove the --disable-checking variant completely,
always retaining assert level checking but maybe make
it cheaper in size by using __builtin_trap () or abort ())


That said, I do have a set of changes removing such spurious

2021-11-25  Richard Biener  <rguenther@suse.de>

	* c-typeck.c (c_tree_equal): Remove unreachable return.
 gcc/c/c-typeck.c | 2 --
 1 file changed, 2 deletions(-)

diff --git a/gcc/c/c-typeck.c b/gcc/c/c-typeck.c
index b71358e1821..7524304f2bd 100644
--- a/gcc/c/c-typeck.c
+++ b/gcc/c/c-typeck.c
@@ -15984,8 +15984,6 @@ c_tree_equal (tree t1, tree t2)
       gcc_unreachable ();
-  /* We can get here with --disable-checking.  */
-  return false;
 /* Returns true when the function declaration FNDECL is implicit,

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