DWARF Standard


170427.1 Alexandre Oliva Location View Numbering Enhancement Open Mark Wielaard

Section 6.2, pg. 149-160.  

This proposal introduces a new implicit column to the line number
table, namely "view numbers", so that multiple program states can be
identified at the same program counter, and extends loclists with
means to add view numbers to address ranges, enabling locations to
start or end at specific views.

This may improve debug information, enabling generators to indicate
inlined entry points and preferred breakpoints for statements even if
instructions associated with the corresponding source locations were
not emitted at the given PC, and to emit variable locations that
indicate the initial values of inlined arguments, and side effects of
operations as they would be expected to take effect from the source
code, even when multiple statements have their side effects all
encoded at the same PC: with view numbers, debug information consumers
may be able to logically advance the perceived program state, so as to
reflect user-expected changes specified in the source code, even if
the operations were reordered or optimized out in the executable code.

View numbers

In Section 6.2, page 149, line 4: change "with one row" to "with at
least one row".  Before line 11, add a bullet "a view number,
identifying a logical program state".

In Section 6.2.2, page 150, add to Table 6.3, between 'address' and
'op_index', a new register named "view", defined as "An unsigned
integer that identifies each distinct entry associated with the same
'address' in the line number matrix."

In Section 6.2.2, page 152, add before line 1 the following sentence:
"The address and view registers, taken together, identify a logical
state within the source program."

In Section 6.3, page 153, add to Table 6.4 a line "view | 0" after

In Section 6.2.5, page 160, add a Subsection "  View Numbers":

  View numbers identify multiple logical states of the source program
  that are all associated with the same address in the program.

  View numbers are computed as a side effect of line number opcodes,
  observing the following rules:

  * opcodes that modify the address register (with the exception of
    DW_LNS_fixed_advance_pc) simultaneously reset the view register to

  * opcodes that append a row to the matrix subsequently increment the
    view register

  Rationale: location lists can refer to address and view, not
  op_index, so views are reset at address changes, not at op_index
  changes.  Opcodes that advance op_index only will only reset the
  view when they happen to advance the address, e.g. by exceeding
  maximum_operations_per_instruction in op_index.

  DW_LNS_fixed_advance_pc is the only opcode that may change the
  address without resetting the view.  It is available for compilers
  to use when an address change is uncertain, e.g., when advancing
  past opcodes that may expand to an empty sequence,
  e.g. possibly-empty alignment sequences, optional no-operation
  opcodes or the like.

In Section, page 160, insert before item 3: "Reset the view
register if the value of the address register changed in 2.", and
after item 3: "Increment the view register"

In Section, page 162, 1. DW_LNS_copy, line 10, add after
"Then it": "increments the view register, ".

In Section, page 162, append to the description of
2. DW_LNS_advance_pc: "Then, if the value of the address register
changed, it resets the view register to zero."

In Section, page 163, append to the first paragraph of
8. DW_LNS_const_add_pc: ", and it resets the view register to zero if
the value of the address register changed."

In Section, page 163, add a third paragraph to
9. DW_LNS_fixed_advance_pc: "This is the only address-changing opcode
that does NOT reset the view register.  It helps compilers that emit
line number programs to determine view numbers even when advancing
past opcodes that might expand to nothing."

In Section, page 164, in 2. DW_LNE_set_address, change
"op_index register" to "view and op_index registers".

Views in loclists

In Section 2.6.2, page 43, add a bullet before "Default location

  * View description.  This kind of entry must precede a Bounded
  location description, and it augments the starting and ending
  address of the Bounded location description with [view numbers|link
  to].  The addresses of a bounded location description that
  is not preceded by a view description are argumented with view
  number zero.

In Section 2.6.2, page 45, add before 6++. DW_LLE_default_location:

  6. DW_LLE_view_pair

  This is the only form of view description, and it has two unsigned
  LEB128 operands.  The first and second values specify respectively
  the view numbers that augment the starting and ending addresses of
  the bounded location description the view description precedes.

In Section 7.7.3, add to Table 7.10 the following entry:

  DW_LLE_view_pair | 0x09

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