Add --warn-backrefs to maintain compatibility with other linkers

Authored by ruiu on Apr 9 2018, 4:05 PM.


Add --warn-backrefs to maintain compatibility with other linkers

I'm proposing a new command line flag, --warn-backrefs in this patch.
The flag and the feature proposed below don't exist in GNU linkers
nor the current lld.

--warn-backrefs is an option to detect reverse or cyclic dependencies
between static archives, and it can be used to keep your program
compatible with GNU linkers after you switch to lld. I'll explain the
feature and why you may find it useful below.

lld's symbol resolution semantics is more relaxed than traditional
Unix linkers. Therefore,

ld.lld foo.a bar.o

succeeds even if bar.o contains an undefined symbol that have to be
resolved by some object file in foo.a. Traditional Unix linkers
don't allow this kind of backward reference, as they visit each
file only once from left to right in the command line while
resolving all undefined symbol at the moment of visiting.

In the above case, since there's no undefined symbol when a linker
visits foo.a, no files are pulled out from foo.a, and because the
linker forgets about foo.a after visiting, it can't resolve
undefined symbols that could have been resolved otherwise.

That lld accepts more relaxed form means (besides it makes more
sense) that you can accidentally write a command line or a build
file that works only with lld, even if you have a plan to
distribute it to wider users who may be using GNU linkers. With
--check-library-dependency, you can detect a library order that
doesn't work with other Unix linkers.

The option is also useful to detect cyclic dependencies between
static archives. Again, lld accepts

ld.lld foo.a bar.a

even if foo.a and bar.a depend on each other. With --warn-backrefs
it is handled as an error.

Here is how the option works. We assign a group ID to each file. A
file with a smaller group ID can pull out object files from an
archive file with an equal or greater group ID. Otherwise, it is a
reverse dependency and an error.

A file outside --{start,end}-group gets a fresh ID when
instantiated. All files within the same --{start,end}-group get the
same group ID. E.g.

ld.lld A B --start-group C D --end-group E

A and B form group 0, C, D and their member object files form group
1, and E forms group 2. I think that you can see how this group
assignment rule simulates the traditional linker's semantics.

Differential Revision: https://reviews.llvm.org/D45195

llvm-svn: 329636