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RE: [Patch] Gas support for MIPS Compact EH

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard Sandiford []
> Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2014 6:11 AM
> To: Schmidt, Bernd
> Cc: Moore, Catherine;
> Subject: Re: [Patch] Gas support for MIPS Compact EH
> Bernd Schmidt <> writes:
> > On 02/08/2014 05:34 PM, Richard Sandiford wrote:
> >>>> The tc_cfi_fix_eh_ref and tc_cfi_emit_expr hooks don't seem very
> >>>> consistent; the former relies on the caller to clear the bytes,
> >>>> whereas the latter is supposed to do it itself.
> >>>
> >>> All fixed, now using a hook to return a reloc and eliminated the use
> >>> of R_MIPS_EH from the assembler.
> >>
> >> Hmm, but how does it work under the new scheme?  It looks like gas
> >> now always emits the .eh_frame_entry sections using R_MIPS_PC32, is
> that right?
> >> But the linker chooses the .eh_frame_hdr encoding based on
> >> --pcrel-eh-reloc, which also controls how R_MIPS_EH is handled.  So if
> the:
> >>
> >>    DW_EH_PE_sdata4 | DW_EH_PE_datarel | DW_EH_PE_indirect
> >>
> >> encoding is chosen for the .eh_frame_entry sections at link time,
> >> what converts the input sections to use that encoding instead of the
> >> original R_MIPS_PC32?  I'd assumed R_MIPS_EH was defined the way it
> >> was to avoid that kind of thing.
> >
> > What's changed is that the linker is no longer really involved in
> > these decisions - the code you see in the linker-specific parts of the
> > patch are there merely to deal with R_MIPS_EH relocs in object files
> > generated by previous toolchains. We've always kind of already decided
> > at compile time which encoding to use and passed the -pcrel-eh-reloc
> > option to the linker to ensure it made the choice we wanted. What's
> > new in this version of the patches is based on the realization that
> > gcc can produce
> > datarel|indirect encoding without linker help (using the new
> > datarel|forcegpword
> > op).
> Ah, OK, so it's now up to the assembler writer to do the indirection by hand?
> I hadn't realised that.  (To be fair, the patch added the .forcegpword directive
> but didn't have any examples or tests to show how it was used, or any
> documentation explaining it.  I deliberately didn't complain about the latter
> though because most ops are undocumented.)
> Using GP-relative is probably a bad idea for MIPS because the GP base can
> vary in the case of multigot.  When resolving the relocations in the individual
> input sections, the GP used will be for that input bfd's GOT, which isn't
> necessarily going to be the primary GOT.  So if we're doing the indirection by
> hand, why not use pcrel|indirect instead?  I suppose that amounts to using
> .ehword (under the new PC-relative definition) rather than .forcegpword.  I
> think it'd be better to drop .forcegpword if possible.
> FWIW, pcrel|indirect is what the linker tries to use for .eh_frame on MIPS, if
> the original input object used absolute indirect.
> > On Linux targets you'll see this generated by the compiler, on
> > bare-metal you'll get R_MIPS_PC32. The R_MIPS_EH reloc is longer
> > produced. So it's all a lot more straightforward, directly producing
> > an encoding appropriate for the target at compile time.
> >
> >> I thought R_MIPS_EH would be used for the .eh_frame_entry entries
> >> only, since in that case the actual encoding of the address isn't
> >> known until link time.
> >
> > I think previous versions of the code were just slightly confused -
> > the idea was that datarel|indirect required things to be put into the
> > got, which has to be done by the linker. It turns out that this isn't
> > necessary, so there is no longer a need to use R_MIPS_EH.
> >
> > Does this clarify things?
> I don't think it really answers my first question.  It's still the linker that decides
> what encoding goes in the .eh_frame_hdr.
> Then all the following .eh_frame_entry sections must use that encoding for
> the text addresses.
> The input objects use relocations to mark those .eh_frame_entry text
> addresses.  In the original scheme those relocations were R_MIPS_EH, giving
> the linker control of both the .eh_frame_hdr encoding and the
> .eh_frame_entry fields that that encoding controls.  That part seemed
> consistent and safe.  (The unsafe part was that other parts of the assembler
> seemed to assume that R_MIPS_EH always meant datarel-indirect.)
> In the new scheme the assembler picks an encoding-specific relocation for
> those .eh_frame_entry text addresses (always PC-relative in the posted
> patch), but the linker is still the one that chooses the .eh_frame_hdr
> encoding.  And in the posted patch the encoding used in .eh_frame_hdr is
> decided by the --pcrel-eh-reloc option.  The default linker behaviour is to use
> datarel-indirect, which is the opposite of what the assembler now uses.  So if
> I do:
>     as foo.s -o foo.o
>     ld foo.o -o foo
> it looked like foo.o would use a PC-relative encoding for any
> .eh_frame_entry sections, but foo's .eh_frame_hdr would say that they are
> datarel-indirect rather than PC-relative.
> In other words, I think using datarel-indirect for the .eh_frame_hdr is only
> safe if all input objects are using the old scheme.  So that seems like a bad
> default.  And I'm not sure --pcrel-eh-reloc is safe for old objects because of
> the assumption in some cases that R_MIPS_EH would generate datarel-
> indirect.
> Maybe for the FSF version we should just drop the R_MIPS_EH stuff
> altogether, since at this point it sounds like it would be safer to reject the old
> objects than to try to guess what's happening.
> The .eh_frame_hdr could then be hard-coded to use a PC-relative encoding,
> like the assembler is now.  It seems a bit of a shame in a way though -- and
> like I say, using PC-relative wouldn't apply well to targets like VxWorks where
> the gap between the text and data segments isn't fixed at link time.

Dropping the R_MIPS_EH stuff is not a desirable option for us.
If we were to go back to the original implementation, using R_MIPS_EH for entries in the .eh_frame_entry sections, then your objection to the implementation was the inconsistent treatment in the assembler?

You said:
RS>  Or, to put it another way, why are we making the choice between
RS> R_MIPS_PC32 and R_MIPS_EH at assembly time in mips_cfi_emit_expr, but not in mips_cfi_fix_eh_ref, even though the patch appears to allow the same two encodings in both casees?

I'd like to take this approach in the next patch:
1. Keep the R_MIPS_EH relocation
2. Let the linker choose the appropriate encoding
3. Clean up the assembler inconsistencies

This would also mean dropping the .forcegpword directive as you suggested.  

How does that sound?

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