• RAII, locks and clang-tidy

    A colleague of mine spent some time chasing a bug in a C++ library related to concurrency.

    At the end it all boiled down to a silly declaration that wasn’t one.

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  • Process-wide information and Linux key management

    I believe this is not a very common scenario, but sometimes one has to develop libraries whose scope is the whole process. In such a situation, we may need to identify if a process has already loaded another copy of the library.

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  • Logging Sidekiq job arguments in Sidekiq 6

    Sidekiq has recently been updated to major version 6, and it includes a bunch of new and interesting features. One that resonated a lot with me was the ability to log in JSON format by default, which is now possible thanks to the newly refactored set of classes that handle logging in the library.

    Let’s have a quick look at how to use the new API to do something slightly controversial: logging job arguments.

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  • Forgotten memories (2)

    So in the first part of this experiment we saw a simple strategy to spill general-purpose registers into floating-point registers implemented in the RISC-V backend of LLVM.

    In this chapter, let’s see the results and some other interesting facts learnt during the process.

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  • Forgotten memories (1)

    Most compiler infrastructures that target register machines do it by using the concept of virtual registers. In their intermediate representations instructions use virtual registers to represent their operands.

    Because hardware is finite, these virtual registers must be mapped to physical registers at some point. The compiler does this in a process called register allocation.

    Being physical registers finite, it may happen that not all the virtual registers used by the program can be held in physical registers at the same time. When this happens, the compiler must emit spill code. Spill code stores a value in a memory (spill) and loads it later, often close to the point of use (reload).

    The memory used for spill code is commonly the function stack. However nothing prevents us from using other kinds of “memories” as long as we can guarantee that nobody is going to use them. This is exactly the kind of experiment we will do today: we’re going to spill general-purpose registers into floating-point registers.

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