[mesa.git] / src / intel / genxml / README
1 This provides some background the design of the generated headers. We
2 started out trying to generate bit fields but it evolved into the pack
3 functions because of a few limitations:
5 1) Bit fields still generate terrible code today. Even with modern
6 optimizing compilers you get multiple load+mask+store operations
7 to the same dword in memory as you set individual bits. The
8 compiler also has to generate code to mask out overflowing values
9 (for example, if you assign 200 to a 2 bit field). Our driver
10 never writes overflowing values so that's not needed. On the
11 other hand, most compiler recognize that the template struct we
12 use is a temporary variable and copy propagate the individual
13 fields and do amazing constant folding. You should take a look
14 at the code that gets generated when you compile in release mode
15 with optimizations.
17 2) For some types we need to have overlapping bit fields. For
18 example, some values are 64 byte aligned 32 bit offsets. The
19 lower 5 bits of the offset are always zero, so the hw packs in a
20 few misc bits in the lower 5 bits there. Other times a field can
21 be either a u32 or a float. I tried to do this with overlapping
22 anonymous unions and it became a big mess. Also, when using
23 initializers, you can only initialize one union member so this
24 just doesn't work with out approach.
26 The pack functions on the other hand allows us a great deal of
27 flexibility in how we combine things. In the case of overlapping
28 fields (the u32 and float case), if we only set one of them in
29 the pack function, the compiler will recognize that the other is
30 initialized to 0 and optimize out the code to or it it.
32 3) Bit fields (and certainly overlapping anonymous unions of bit
33 fields) aren't generally stable across compilers in how they're
34 laid out and aligned. Our pack functions let us control exactly
35 how things get packed, using only simple and unambiguous bitwise
36 shifting and or'ing that works on any compiler.
38 Once we have the pack function it allows us to hook in various
39 transformations and validation as we go from template struct to dwords
40 in memory:
42 1) Validation: As I said above, our driver isn't supposed to write
43 overflowing values to the fields, but we've of course had lots of
44 cases where we make mistakes and write overflowing values. With
45 the pack function, we can actually assert on that and catch it at
46 runtime. bitfields would just silently truncate.
48 2) Type conversions: some times it's just a matter of writing a
49 float to a u32, but we also convert from bool to bits, from
50 floats to fixed point integers.
52 3) Relocations: whenever we have a pointer from one buffer to
53 another (for example a pointer from the meta data for a texture
54 to the raw texture data), we have to tell the kernel about it so
55 it can adjust the pointer to point to the final location. That
56 means extra work we have to do extra work to record and annotate
57 the dword location that holds the pointer. With bit fields, we'd
58 have to call a function to do this, but with the pack function we
59 generate code in the pack function to do this for us. That's a
60 lot less error prone and less work.
62 Keeping genxml files tidy :
64 In order to spot differences easily between generations, we keep genxml files sorted.
65 You can trigger the sort by running :
67 $ cd src/intel/genxml; ./sort_xml.sh
69 gen_sort_tags.py is the script that sorts genxml files using with
70 the following rules :
72 1) Tags are grouped in the following order <enum>, <struct>,
73 <instruction>, <register>
75 2) <field> tags are sorted through the value of their start attribute
77 3) Sort <struct> tags by dependency so that other scripts have
78 everything properly ordered.