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RE: [PATCH 5/5] MIPS: LLVMLinux: Silence unicode warnings when preproces

To: Måns Rullgård <>, "Maciej W. Rozycki" <>
Subject: RE: [PATCH 5/5] MIPS: LLVMLinux: Silence unicode warnings when preprocessing assembly.
From: Daniel Sanders <>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:37:31 +0000
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Cc: Toma Tabacu <>, Ralf Baechle <>, Paul Burton <>, Paul Bolle <>, "Steven J. Hill" <>, Manuel Lauss <>, Jim Quinlan <>, "" <>, "" <>
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Thread-topic: [PATCH 5/5] MIPS: LLVMLinux: Silence unicode warnings when preprocessing assembly.
Apologies for the slow reply.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Måns Rullgård []
> Sent: 05 February 2015 12:56
> To: Maciej W. Rozycki
> Cc: Toma Tabacu; Daniel Sanders; Ralf Baechle; Paul Burton; Paul Bolle;
> Steven J. Hill; Manuel Lauss; Jim Quinlan;; linux-
> Subject: Re: [PATCH 5/5] MIPS: LLVMLinux: Silence unicode warnings when
> preprocessing assembly.
> "Maciej W. Rozycki" <> writes:
> > On Thu, 5 Feb 2015, Toma Tabacu wrote:
> >
> >> > 2. It considers these character pairs to be unicode escapes in the first
> >> >    place given that they do not follow the syntax required for such
> >> >    escapes, that is `\unnnn', where `n' are hex digits.
> >> >
> >>
> >> It doesn't actually treat them as unicode escapes, but it still warns
> >> the user, in case they were meant to be unicode escapes. Here's the
> >> warning message:
> >>
> >> arch/mips/include/asm/asmmacro.h:197:51: warning: \u used with no
> following hex digits; treating as '\' followed by identifier [-Wunicode]
> >>          .word  0x41000000 | (\rt << 16) | (\rd << 11) | (\u << 5) | (\sel)
> >>                                                           ^
> >> I'll add it to the summary in v2.
> >
> >  Thanks, that makes things clearer.  It always makes sense to include the
> > exact error message produced where applicable or otherwise people do not
> > necessarily know what the matter is.
> >
> >> > Of course it may be reasonable for us to work this bug around as we've
> >> > been doing for years with GCC, but has the issue been reported back to
> >> > clang maintainers?  What was their response?
> >> >
> >>
> >> It hasn't been reported, but I don't think they would agree with removing
> >> unicode escape sequences from the assembler-with-cpp mode because it is
> >> currently being used for other languages as well, not just assembly.
> >
> >  First, preprocessing rules surely have to be language specific.  The C
> > language standard does not specify what the preprocessor is meant to do
> > (if anything) for other languages.  GCC or clang -- that's no different.
> > 
> >  The assembly language has a different syntax and `\u' has a different
> > meaning in the context of assembly macro expansion than it would have in a
> > name of a symbol, where such a Unicode escape sequence might indeed be
> > interpreted as such and character encoded propagated to the symbol
> > produced.  But that's up to the assembler -- GAS for example does not
> > AFAIK support Unicode escape sequences in symbol names right now, but I
> > suppose such a feature could be added if desired.

Pre-processed assembly is somewhat unusual in that it has traditionally been
pre-processed with a pre-processor designed for the C language. It's certainly
possible to have assembly specific tweaks (GCC has a couple) but it is still a C
pre-processor at heart. It doesn't know anything about the assembly language,
it just happens to be similar enough to be usable.

From the pre-processors point of view, '\u' is two pre-processor tokens '\' and
the identifier 'u'. However, with following hex digits it would have been an 
starting with a universal character name. Clang's warning is effectively saying 
the former is more likely to be the intention. That's probably not as true for
pre-processed assembly as it is for C/C++.

> >  Which prompts another question of course: how does the clang C compiler
> > represent Unicode characters in identifiers in its assembly output?

They're emitted as multi-byte characters.

> >  I have looked into the C language standard and it appears to me like the
> > translation phase to interpret universal character names at has not been
> > defined.  This is probably why the standard does specify the result of
> > pasting preprocessor tokens together as undefined if a universal character
> > name is produced this way.
> That is my interpretation as well.

It's my understanding that they should be interpreted when pre-processing tokens
are formed. This is based on the fact that the universal character names are 
included in
the grammar for identifiers and are not discussed in a separate translation 
I agree that it doesn't explicitly state that though.

> >  Consequently I think an important question in this context is: does
> > clang's preprocessor actually convert these sequences anyhow before
> > passing them down to the compiler?  How for example does C output from a
> > trivial example that contains such Unicode escape sequences look like
> > then?

Clang is converting them to multibyte characters during pre-processing.

> >> One such language is Haskell (ghc, to be more specific), for which
> >> the clang developers had to actually stop the preprocessor from
> >> enforcing the C universal character name restrictions in
> >> assembler-with-cpp mode, which suggests that ghc wants the
> >> preprocessor to check for unicode escape sequences.
> >>
> >> At the moment, we can either disable -Wunicode for asmmacro.h or
> >> refrain from using '\u' as an identifier.
> >
> >  To be clear: it's `u' here that is the identifier, the leading `\' is
> > merely how assembly syntax has been specified for references to macro
> > arguments.  And TBH I find banning any macro arguments starting with `u'
> > rather silly.
> Agreed.

That's the crux of the issue. Had it been followed by some hex-digits,
it would be an identifier '\u1234' and not a '\' followed by the identifier 'u'.
Clang currently thinks the former is more likely and warns.

I do agree that warning about all macro arguments beginning with 'u' is silly 
Perhaps for assembler-with-cpp mode the warning should be suppressed when
it's the first character of an identifier.

> > I'm leaning towards considering having -Wunicode disabled for all
> > assembly sources, or maybe even for the whole Linux compilation, the
> > right solution.  It's not like we have a need for Unicode identifiers.
> It might be an idea to disable -Wunicode and have checkpatch warn about
> Unicode escapes instead if people are worried about this.  Personally, I
> doubt there's much cause for concern here.
> --
> Måns Rullgård

I'm fine with disabling -Wunicode if that's our preferred solution.

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