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IDProjectCategoryView StatusDate SubmittedLast Update
0005355OCaml~DO NOT USE (was: OCaml general)public2011-09-06 00:032015-12-11 19:04
Assigned To 
StatusclosedResolutionno change required 
PlatformOSOS Version
Product Version3.12.1 
Target VersionFixed in Version 
Summary0005355: Sys.word_size and related fields should be constants
DescriptionI want to make some code conditional at compile time on the word size, i.e. I don't want the comparison word_size=64 to be done at runtime. In OCaml 3.12 Sys.word_size is initialized by a function call at program startup. The value is not available to the compiler. However, the value will not change from compile to runtime. It should be treated as a constant the same as sizeof() in C.

I have sample code showing where this matters. I attached a diff showing how to make Sys.word_size a constant. Pervasives.max_int and related values should be treated the same way. See caml-list traffic of September 5, 2011 for more background.
Additional Informationmodule type M = sig type t val add : t -> t -> t val of_int : int -> t end;;
module Int : M = struct type t = int let add = (+) let of_int x = x end;;
module M = (val (if Sys.word_size = 64 then (module Int : M) else (module Int32 : M)) : M);;

(* The intent is for the module M to provide the usual int
   operations on a 64 bit system and degenerate to boxed
   integers and function calls on 32 bit systems. This is
   appropriate when an integer of 32-63 bits is required.

   In OCaml 3.12 the test (Sys.word_size = 64) is done at
   runtime and the functions below make indirect calls
   through the module.

   If Sys.word_size is changed to a compile time constant
   ocamlopt looks through the module pack and unpack and,
   on a 64 bit system, compiles these functions to use
   plain "int" addition. *)

let f x = M.add (M.of_int x) (M.of_int 1)

let g x = x + Sys.word_size
TagsNo tags attached.
Attached Filesdiff file icon word_size.diff [^] (1,618 bytes) 2011-09-06 00:03 [Show Content]

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-  Notes
xleroy (administrator)
2011-09-06 15:46
edited on: 2011-09-06 15:47

This patch would break something much more important: bytecode executables generated by ocamlc are portable across 32 and 64-bit platforms. Therefore, Sys.word_size must be determined at program start-up time, and cannot be a link-time constant. (Otherwise, a bytecode executable generated on a 32-bit machine would run with the wrong word_size on a 64-bit machine.) So, thanks, but no, thanks.

A slightly more acceptable approach would be

let word_size = if 1 lsl 32 = 0 then 32 else 64

As long as the bytecode compiler doesn't do compile-time constant folding, the right value will be computed at program start-up time. On the other hand, ocamlopt folds the constant at compile-time. This won't help with native cross-compilation between 32 and 64-bit platforms, but such cross-compilation is already broken in many other ways.

At any rate, your particular problem should be solved by writing

module M = (val (if 1 lsl 32 <> 0 then (module Int : M) else (module Int32 : M)) : M);;

xleroy (administrator)
2012-03-14 10:45

In my proposed approach, please replace "1 lsl 32" with "1 lsl 31" to avoid running into "unspecified behavior" territory.

In the absence of further discussion, I'm moving this PR to "no change required".

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2011-09-06 00:03 jfc New Issue
2011-09-06 00:03 jfc File Added: word_size.diff
2011-09-06 15:46 xleroy Note Added: 0006114
2011-09-06 15:46 xleroy Status new => feedback
2011-09-06 15:47 xleroy Note Edited: 0006114
2012-03-14 10:45 xleroy Note Added: 0007073
2012-03-14 10:45 xleroy Status feedback => resolved
2012-03-14 10:45 xleroy Resolution open => no change required
2015-12-11 19:04 xleroy Status resolved => closed
2017-02-23 16:36 doligez Category OCaml general => -OCaml general
2017-03-03 17:55 doligez Category -OCaml general => -(deprecated) general
2017-03-03 18:01 doligez Category -(deprecated) general => ~deprecated (was: OCaml general)
2017-03-06 17:04 doligez Category ~deprecated (was: OCaml general) => ~DO NOT USE (was: OCaml general)

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