Thanks for acting so promptly on this. Just a minor point on the
commit message below.
On 15/07/2012, at 8:50 AM, Jonathan Nieder wrote:
Unfortunately, Michael noticed on an Alpha machine that git was using
plain 32-bit reads anyway. As soon as we convert a pointer to int *,
the compiler can assume that the object pointed to is correctly
aligned as an int (C99 section 220.127.116.11 "pointer conversions"
paragraph 7), and gcc takes full advantage by converting the get_be32
calls back to a load and bswap and producing a whole bunch of
unaligned access traps.
Alpha does not have a bswap (or similar) instruction. I do recall
reading somewhere that one can get halfway to swapping endianness by
treating a number as a VAX float and converting to IEEE float, with
only a couple or so more instructions to achieve the full swap. But I
don't think that is available to us anyway because on Debian we
compile for generic Alpha. I suspect that the crux of the matter is
that compiling for generic Alpha also means that byte access
instructions are not permitted. In other words, all memory accesses
must be long words (32bits) or quad words (64bits). In the get_be32
routine the compiler _has_ to issue 32bit memory accesses whether the
base pointer is char * or int *. If the pointer is unaligned then two
neighbouring aligned 32bit loads are required to ensure that all four
bytes are loaded. If the pointer is aligned then a single 32bit load
gets all the four bytes. Having never looked at the generated
assembler code, I nevertheless suspect that is the guts of the
optimisation --- the compiler can eliminate an access to memory if it
knows the pointer is aligned.
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