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34.2 Supporting Multiple Hardware Configurations

A winning way to change emitted code depending on the hardware configuration, i.e. what FPA is present is to do this using primitive types. Note that the Primitive-Type function is VM supplied, and can look at any appropriate hardware configuration switches. Short-Float can become 6881-Short-Float, AFPA-Short-Float, etc. There would be separate SBs and SCs for the registers of each kind of FP hardware, with each hardware-specific primitive type using the appropriate float register SC. Then the hardware specific templates would provide AFPA-Short-Float as the argument type restriction.

Primitive type changes:

The primitive-type structure is given a new %Type slot, which is the CType structure that is equivalent to this type. There is also a Guard slot, which, if true is a function that control whether this primitive type is allowed (due to hardware configuration, etc.)

We add new :Type and :Guard keywords to Def-Primitive-Type. Type is the type specifier that is equivalent (default to the primitive-type name), and Guard is an expression evaluated in the null environment that controls whether this type applies (default to none, i.e. constant T).

The Primitive-Type-Type function returns the Lisp CType corresponding to a primitive type. This is the %Type unless there is a guard that returns false, in which case it is the empty type (i.e. NIL).

[But this doesn’t do what we want it to do, since we will compute the function type for a template at load-time, so they will correspond to whatever configuration was in effect then. Maybe we don’t want to dick with guards here (if at all). I guess we can defer this issue until we actually support different FP configurations. But it would seem pretty losing to separately flame about all the different FP configurations that could be used to open-code + whenever we are forced to closed-code +.

If we separately report each better possibly applicable template that we couldn’t use, then it would be reasonable to report any conditional template allowed by the configuration.

But it would probably also be good to give some sort of hint that perhaps it would be a good time to make sure you understand how to tell the compiler to compile for a particular configuration. Perhaps if there is a template that applies *but for the guard*, then we could give a note. This way, if someone thinks they are being efficient by throwing in lots of declarations, we can let them know that they may have to do more.

I guess the guard should be associated with the template rather than the primitive type. This would allow LTN and friends to easily tell whether a template applies in this configuration. It is also probably more natural for some sorts of things: with some hardware variants, it may be that the SBs and representations (SCs) are really the same, but there are some different allowed operations. In this case, we could easily conditionalize VOPs without the increased complexity due to bogus SCs. If there are different storage resources, then we would conditionalize Primitive-Type as well.


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