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RE: [Caml-list] Dynamic linking
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Date: -- (:)
From: Alexander Bottema <Alexander.Bottema@m...>
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Dynamic linking
But the problem with a DLL is that you never now what address will be
allocated for your executable. It can be located anywhere between 0 and
2^64-1. Thus, when a DLL calls another DLL a 64-bit call is potentially
required. AMD64 supports global address tables that enable you to
translate a 32-bit call into a 64-bit one (likewise with data access).
If you compile a C file with gcc (-fPIC -S) you'll get code that looks
like this:

The C file (amd64.c)
extern int foo();

int xyzzy = 42;

int main(int argc, char *argv)
    xyzzy = 4711;
    return foo();

The assembly output (amd64.S) for gcc -O2 -fPIC -S

	.file	"amd64.c"
.globl xyzzy
	.align 4
	.type	xyzzy,@object
	.size	xyzzy,4
	.long	42
	.p2align 2,,3
.globl main
	.type	main,@function
	pushl	%ebp
	movl	%esp, %ebp
	pushl	%ebx
	pushl	%eax
	call	.L2
	popl	%ebx
	addl	$_GLOBAL_OFFSET_TABLE_+[.-.L2], %ebx
	movl	xyzzy@GOT(%ebx), %eax
	andl	$-16, %esp
	movl	$4711, (%eax)
	call	foo@PLT
	movl	-4(%ebp), %ebx
	.size	main,.Lfe1-main
	.ident	"GCC: (GNU) 3.2.3"

For OCaml to work you need to emit instructions of type 'call foo@PLT'
and 'movl xyzzy@GOT(%ebx)'. Currently, the OCaml does not do this for
AMD64, which is the heart of the problem. If you think this is trivial
to fix, please go head and do it; I'd be very happy.

Alexander Bottema
The MathWorks

-----Original Message-----
From: skaller [] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 10:48 AM
To: Alexander Bottema
Subject: RE: [Caml-list] Dynamic linking

On Tue, 2005-10-04 at 08:47 -0400, Alexander Bottema wrote:

> Now, as a developer it would be nice if it was possible to write
> parts in OCaml. The foreign language interface is good enough to be
> in conjunction with C/C++, but the lack of support to use it in DLLs
> makes it impossible for us to have any OCaml code in our leaf product.
> Nevertheless, I really tried to make it work (and I almost did). It's
> only Linux/AMD64 that I couldn't solve and I really tried to modify
> AMD64 emitter.

I actually find this very strange. The x86 is incapable of
supporting position independent code without hackery or 

(a) there is no IP relative call instruction (only short branches)
(b) there is no IP relative data access (at all)

The amd64 (x86_64) on the other hand supports IP relative
calls and data access (with 32 bit offsets only, but
usually enough for all code and global data).

> > The only platform which I couldn't get to work was Linux AMD64. I
> tried
> > to modify the OCaml emitter for AMD64 to accommodate position
> > independent code using the offset tables, but it was too hard.

There is no need for offset tables. Just make sure all
'absolute' addresses accesses are changed to be RIP relative
and the assembler will do the rest automatically.

[There may be a problem on Windows, apparently the linker
can't add two offsets together due to a constraint in COFF
format, not sure about that though]

See section 2.2.5 of the AMD document 24592.

John Skaller <skaller at users dot sf dot net>
Felix, successor to C++: