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From Nick Wellnhofer <>
Subject Re: [lucy-dev] OFFSET globals
Date Sun, 22 Apr 2012 15:11:19 GMT
On 20/04/2012 19:44, Marvin Humphrey wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 3:02 AM, Nick Wellnhofer<>  wrote:
>> On 19/04/2012 23:55, Marvin Humphrey wrote:
>>> Unfortunately, applying this patch would severely constrain the development
>>> of the Lucy core.  Because it freezes the layout of our vtables by
>>> hard-coding the offsets at which method pointers are located, we would not
>>> be able to add new methods to Lucy (among other problems) without breaking
>>> compiled extensions.
>> But that's exactly what we do right now. The offsets are never changed.
> Heh.
> The original concept was to have one OFFSET var per novel method.  However,
> that design was flawed because it caused the ABI to break if the method's
> novel declaration moved from one class to another, e.g. up into a parent
> class: a compiled extension would be counting on the existence of
> Parcel_OldClass_MethodName_OFFSET, but that var would go away with the new
> release of the core, breaking ABI compat.
> Creating OFFSET vars for every invocant/method-name combo solved that problem,
> though at the cost of considerable DLL symbol proliferation.  However, as you
> point out, a mechanism to propagate the offsets was never introduced.

OK, I see. Then I would propose the following solution: We go back to 
defining offsets only for novel methods. But we define the offset 
variables per-parcel even for included classes. Then we lookup the 
offsets of included methods by method name at run-time. We'll have to 
store a bit of method metadata to make this work. Patch 03 in LUCY-231 
already goes in that direction.

So a compiled extension would have something like the following in parcel.c:

size_t ext_Hash_fetch_OFFSET;


ext_bootstrap_parcel() {
         = cfish_VTable_find_offset(LUCY_HASH, "Fetch");

Note that the offsets of included classes are also prefixed with "ext_", 
not "lucy_". Every extension will use its own private copy. This makes 
it possible to hide the offset variables in the DLL.

VTable_find_offset can then find the correct offset even if a novel 
method has moved to a parent class.


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