[PATCH] Python API: Add gdb.is_in_prologue and gdb.is_in_epilogue.

Ulrich Weigand uweigand@de.ibm.com
Thu Oct 23 17:57:00 GMT 2014

Martin Galvan wrote:

> Well, the comment at the top of in_prologue says "Returns 1 if PC
> *might* be in prologue, 0 if definately (sic) *not* in prologue".
> However, looking at the function itself it relies on the compiler
> having marked the prologue as its own "line", and if it can't use that
> info it falls back to using the architecture-dependant
> gdbarch_skip_prologue. So far every time I've tested it it's worked
> fine, and if it didn't it would've probably already been reported as a
> bug of in_prologue or gdbarch_skip_prologue. I guess if you want to be
> *really* careful I could change that line in the documentation for
> something like "if the result is False, you can be almost sure GDB is
> right", or "GDB is most likely right".

The fundamental problem is that the notion of "prologue" and "epilogue"
simply no longer exists in optimized code generated by modern compilers;
and even more compiler features get implemented that make those notions
even less useful (e.g. shrink-wrapping).

As a result, we have been trying to the rid of using those notions as
much as possible; for example, when debugging optimized code with modern
DWARF information present, GDB will today no longer even use prologue
skipping at all.  Instead, the debug information is good enough that
the correct location of local variables can be recovered at every
instruction in the function, making the distinction no longer needed.

The in_prologue routine is likewise only still uses under certain rather
rare circumstances; in fact it might even today be possible to simply
remove it.  Once more platforms provide correct DWARF covering epilogues
as well, the gdbarch_in_function_epilogue_p calls in breakpoint.c may
likewise become unnecessary.

So if we hope at some point to get rid of those routines, then it seems
counterproductive to now export them as part of a fixed external API ...


  Dr. Ulrich Weigand
  GNU/Linux compilers and toolchain

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