Recent Progress

Looks like pork is slowly going to get merged back into oink. This makes me happy as it will result in decreased merging headaches and gives more visibility to my work outside of Mozilla. My elkhound changes are already in!

Recently I added support for retaining gnu attributes to elsa and corresponding features dehydra and garburator. Now dehydra can verify things based on attributes and  garburator gained a way to rewrite special cases like classes that are always allocated on the stack. Elsa still drops most attributes, but at least classes, methods and variable declarations are covered.

I also spent a couple of days investigating gcc plugins. Turns out modifying gcc to support plugins is dead easy, but getting anything useful done in GCC requires a steep learning curve. I tried to find how to enumerate all of the toplevel declarations in the source, but I couldn’t find the correct global variable that corresponds to the toplevel scope(aka the Translation Unit?). I have a few more ideas of what to try next. Once I do that, it shouldn’t take much work to make a basic gcc-hosted version of dehydra. There is also a gcc plugin branch hosted in the gcc svn, but I can’t find any example code for it. It isn’t a big deal since none of the plugins I’ve seen mentioned venture outside of intra-function analyses.

I am still pondering on how to tackle rewriting Mozilla to use exceptions. It is the key to improving overall readability/perf of Moz C++, but the logistics of writing the corresponding analyses+rewrites followed by a parallel manual correction step are still making my head spin. All I’m sure about is that the first step to exceptions would be to enable the OOM exceptions and do the corresponding exception safe analysis+rewrite.


  1. pork, oink, elkhound, Elsa, dehydra, garburator ???

    This wins the award for maximal codename usage in an aggregated blog by a landslide! And even my keyworded Quick Search is powerless to decode them.

    No worries, your pork wiki page explains them all (I linked “elsa” and “elkhound”). Good luck cloning 100 monkeys for the manual correction step.

  2. Taras, if the manual correction step is mainly trivial in nature, just time consuming, I would suggest reaching out to the large community of volunteers to help along the way. I know I’ll help if I can, and I’m sure others will as well.