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Re: [PATCH] Accept DWARF 3-format debug info

Damiel writes, about a supposed change in DW_FORM_ref_addr:

>References that use the attribute form DW_FORM_ref_addr are specified
        >to be four bytes in the DWARF 32-bit format and eight bytes in
        >DWARF 64-bit format, while DWARF Version 2 specifies that such
        >references have the same size as an address on the target
        system >(see Sections 7.4 and 7.5.4).
This is a correct observation, but *the dwarf 2 document was wrong*.

We did this late in 1992 and simply botched the document.
Confusion and tiredness :-(
Same size as an address simply makes no sense, never did.

Till very recently I don't think anyone used DW_FORM_ref_addr.
I did get an inquiry from one person (about dwarfdump) that proved
one compiler supplier believes the dwarf2 document on this point. Recent
inquiry, I mean.

There should still be  FAQ on which
says the DWARF2 doc was/is wrong (I wrote that FAQ).

What the dwarf3 doc says is what we always intended. It's an offset,
not an address. Misleading name of the form...

David Anderson (, writing from home)

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