University of Cambridge > > Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar > How debuggable is your (compiler-optimised) program?

How debuggable is your (compiler-optimised) program?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ryan Gibb.

Source-level debugging of compiled code only works when compilers generate the necessary metadata. Currently, that means it rarely works well, at least in optimising ahead-of-time compilers like LLVM and GCC . I’ll give an overview of how compiler-generated metadata enables source-level debugging, the challenges of making it work for optimised code, and our recent work on doing better. Whereas compilers have so far taken a “best-effort” approach with no particular correctness criterion, I’ll outline a correctness condition for local variable information that seems to balance the relevant trade-offs. I’ll then describe a tool we’ve built that can use this to mechanically find valid LLVM bugs capturing avoidable losses or corruptions of debug info. A theme will be how the textbook framing of compiler optimisations as “eliminating” code or variables could be more constructively thought of as “residualising” them into debug info; I’ll finish with some thoughts on what that could mean for how compilers are built. All this is joint work with J. Ryan Stinnett.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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