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Re: [PATCH 5/5] PR ld/20828: Reorder the symbol sweep stage of section GC

On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 02:16:06PM +0000, Maciej W. Rozycki wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Jan 2017, Alan Modra wrote:
> > > 	PR ld/20828
> > > 	* elflink.c (bfd_elf_record_link_assignment): Revert last 
> > > 	change and don't ever clear `forced_local'.  Set `mark' 
> > > 	unconditionally.
> > > 	(elf_gc_sweep_symbol_info, elf_gc_sweep_symbol): Reorder within
> > > 	file.
> > > 	(elf_gc_sweep): Move the call to `elf_gc_sweep_symbol'...
> > > 	(bfd_elf_size_dynamic_sections): ... here.
> > > 	* elf32-ppc.c (ppc_elf_tls_setup): Don't clear `forced_local'
> > > 	and set `mark' instead in `__tls_get_addr_opt' processing.
> > > 	* elf64-ppc.c (ppc64_elf_tls_setup): Likewise.
> > 
> > I think this is OK for master, but please delay putting this patch on
> > the branch for a while.  There is a possibility that the change might
> > tickle bugs in some target check_relocs.
>  OK.  I think it should be fine as version scripts do their symbol forcing 

Yes, I think it is OK too, but I'd like to give it a few days on
master to see whether there might be unforseen interactions.

>  BTW, in the process of making this change I have discovered that the 
> linker script PROVIDE keyword causes the symbol requested to be emitted 
> even in the absence of a local reference if there is an identically named 
> symbol exported from a DSO present in the link.  This can be reproduced 
> with the `' test and its `pr20828.ld' script modified to use 
> PROVIDE with its symbols, regardless of the presence of `--gc-sections', 
> as long as `' is included in the link.  If the DSO is absent, 
> then the symbols are not emitted.
>  I believe this is due to this piece:
>   /* If this symbol is being provided by the linker script, and it is
>      currently defined by a dynamic object, but not by a regular
>      object, then mark it as undefined so that the generic linker will
>      force the correct value.  */
>   if (provide
>       && h->def_dynamic
>       && !h->def_regular)
>     h->root.type = bfd_link_hash_undefined;
> in `bfd_elf_record_link_assignment', the presence of which however 
> predates our repo history and therefore any justification is hard to track 
> down.

This one goes back to
commit b5279eb6a9672dba08ce9bbef0490f4bf26243f3
Author: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date:   Tue Jul 4 17:43:05 1995 +0000

The old history is in our git repo but it's a little difficult to go
beyond 1999-05-03.  You need to pick one of the commits before the
multiple "Initial creation of sourceware repository" commits..  In
this case

git blame 1730ec6b -- bfd/elflink.h

gets you the old history.

> Our manual however only states that:
> "In some cases, it is desirable for a linker script to define a symbol
> only if it is referenced and is not defined by any object included in
> the link.  For example, traditional linkers defined the symbol `etext'.
> However, ANSI C requires that the user be able to use `etext' as a
> function name without encountering an error.  The `PROVIDE' keyword may
> be used to define a symbol, such as `etext', only if it is referenced
> but not defined.  The syntax is `PROVIDE(SYMBOL = EXPRESSION)'."
> which given our semantics is I believe at least ambiguous as it does not 
> tell static and dynamic objects apart -- it merely states "any object".
>  Do you or does anyone know what the purpose of this special case is?  It 
> might be to preempt the DSO symbol so that the DSO uses ours and not its 
> own, however preemption is not going to happen in a `-shared' link anyway 
> (and it seems against the spirit of PROVIDE).
>  Shall we keep it (presumably yes, owing to its long history) and make it 
> clear in documentation?

I think we have to keep the current behaviour.  PROVIDE is likely the
way it is for symbols like "etext" that might be exported from shared
libraries but the executable needs its own value as given by the script.

A doc patch is preapproved.

Alan Modra
Australia Development Lab, IBM

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