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Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2020 18:51:42 -0500
From: "Madhavan T. Venkataraman" <>
To: Arvind Sankar <>
Cc: Florian Weimer <>,,,,,,,,,,,, David.Laight@...LAB.COM,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH v2 0/4] [RFC] Implement Trampoline File Descriptor

On 9/23/20 2:51 PM, Arvind Sankar wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 23, 2020 at 02:17:30PM -0500, Madhavan T. Venkataraman wrote:
>> On 9/23/20 4:11 AM, Arvind Sankar wrote:
>>> For libffi, I think the proposed standard trampoline won't actually
>>> work, because not all ABIs have two scratch registers available to use
>>> as code_reg and data_reg. Eg i386 fastcall only has one, and register
>>> has zero scratch registers. I believe 32-bit ARM only has one scratch
>>> register as well.
>> The trampoline is invoked as a function call in the libffi case. Any
>> caller saved register can be used as code_reg, can it not? And the
>> scratch register is needed only to jump to the code. After that, it
>> can be reused for any other purpose.
>> However, for ARM, you are quite correct. There is only one scratch
>> register. This means that I have to provide two types of trampolines:
>> 	- If an architecture has enough scratch registers, use the currently
>> 	  defined trampoline.
>> 	- If the architecture has only one scratch register, but has PC-relative
>> 	  data references, then embed the code address at the bottom of the
>> 	  trampoline and access it using PC-relative addressing.
>> Thanks for pointing this out.
>> Madhavan
> libffi is trying to provide closures with non-standard ABIs as well: the
> actual user function is standard ABI, but the closure can be called with
> a different ABI. If the closure was created with FFI_REGISTER abi, there
> are no registers available for the trampoline to use: EAX, EDX and ECX
> contain the first three arguments of the function, and every other
> register is callee-save.
> I provided a sample of the kind of trampoline that would be needed in
> this case -- it's position-independent and doesn't clobber any registers
> at all, and you get 255 trampolines per page. If I take another 16-byte
> slot out of the page for the end trampoline that does the actual work,
> I'm sure I could even come up with one that can just call a normal C
> function, only the return might need special handling depending on the
> return type.
> And again, do you actually have any example of an architecture that
> cannot run position-independent code? PC-relative addressing is an
> implementation detail: the fact that it's available for x86_64 but not
> for i386 just makes position-independent code more cumbersome on i386,
> but it doesn't make it impossible. For the tiny trampolines here, it
> makes almost no difference.

Hi Arvind,

I am preparing a response for all of your comments. I will send it out
tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.


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