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SubjectRe: linux-2.3.4pre1: Adjustments for using gcc builtins
Linus Torvalds <> said:
> On Fri, 28 May 1999, Horst von Brand wrote:
> > After the recent problems with egcs snapshots, it was suggested that the
> > kernel don't use handcrafted mem* and str* functions, it better use the gcc
> > builtins. This gives rise to the first patch below: It just blows away the
> > redundant definitions in include/asm-i386/string.h and adds the symbols for
> > the functions to kernel/ksyms.c (gcc doesn't allways inline them for some
> > reason, falling back on the library functions).

> Thcc gcc "builtins" are generally noticeably worse than the kernel
> headers.

I'll have to check on that.

> Anyway, there is a really simple choice when it comes to compilers: we
> will choose the one that generates better code. For a long time it
> _seemed_ that egcs would be the choice, but if we have to disable the new
> alias code and/or use ugly tricks like the above then the choice is fairly
> clear - gcc-2.7.2 will still continue to generate better code.

How is using gcc builtins instead of reimplementations thereof a "ugly
trick"? Sure, there are now problems with the new aliasing code: Here egcs
introduces a new optimization that gives _better_ code overall. But that
happens to clash with the way the kernel is written, as has happened

> I've asked the egcs people to give us some way to tell the compiler what's
> going on, but at least so far I haven't had any replies. As I know how
> gcc-2.7.2 can be made to generate the code I want, and nobody so far has
> told me how to get egcs to do the same, I know which compiler _I_ will
> recommend.

In this case you can get that (more or less) by foregoing strict aliasing
and using the string.h implementations as they stand.
Horst von Brand
Casilla 9G, Viña del Mar, Chile +56 32 672616

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