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Re: [Tooling] [isocpp-modules] Path to modules with old bad build systems

From: Tom Honermann <tom_at_[hidden]>
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2019 11:04:46 -0500
On 3/8/19 9:53 AM, Ben Boeckel via Modules wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 08, 2019 at 01:10:09 -0500, Tom Honermann wrote:
>> Thank you for this write up, Ben.? This all strongly matches what I've
>> been thinking.
>> The listed constraints suggest some requirements:
>> 1. Means to determine if a header file is a modular header unit.
> Is this for the purposes of transforming `#include` into `import`?
Not so much for the purposes of, but rather because there has to be some
mechanism to inform the implementation that a particular header is to be
treated as a module header unit.
> If
> so, I'd rather that either be implicit compiler magic or the compiler
> reports on it as if it was `import`. If a header unit shows up, it shows
> up just like any other provides/requires entry.
It can't be implicit compiler magic since nothing in the header file for
a header unit denotes it as such.
>> 2. Means to map modules IDs to module interface unit source file names.
> That isn't part of this spec since we have the source and want the
> module name(s). It can be inferred from the output, but that might also
> be incomplete.

I think we may be thinking of different things here. I'm not sure what
output you are referring to.

The situation this is concerned with is, given this primary source file:

import foo;

The implementation has to have a way to resolve 'foo' to a module
interface unit. Since we're assuming no (explicitly managed) BMIs for
this model, that means resolving to source code. Per the constraints
that Ben listed, we can't require a pre-build scan for old build
systems. We therefore can't learn module IDs during compilation, so we
need another means to look them up.

>> 3. That pre-built packages provide:
>> 3.1. The above information for their modular headers and module
>> interface units (packaged software can't require consumers to perform a
>> scanning step).
> How this gets specified in pkg-config or CMake's usage requirements is
> separate from this. For strawman CMake syntax:
> https://gitlab.kitware.com/ben.boeckel/cxx-modules-sandbox/blob/master/header-units/external/CMakeLists.txt
> Though I suspect a scan step will still be required since you need to
> discover compile dependent modules for things like `export import`.
> Header units can probably get away with it…but they can also do
> `import`, so probably not.
> How that information gets encoded in a `.pc` file can be bikeshedded
> once we figure out what information needs to be provided.

This discussion is about support for bad old build systems. We can't
require pkg-config or CMake.

The goal here is a mechanism for an implementation to discover the
necessary module information without requiring build system enhancements.

>> 3.2. The source files for module interface units (packaged software
>> can't require consumers to consume BMIs).
> How to extract an MIU from a source file is also something I want. But
> that's a much harder problem than getting a build. Also, out-of-scope
> here.
I think we're misunderstanding each other here. This is just saying
that the source files must be available. This is not out of scope.
>> Clang modules has already solved these problems in a way that I believe
>> 1) has proven deployable, 2) that programmers have shown willingness to
>> use.? The following is heavily based on how Clang modules works today.
> Clang modules as deployed widely is all implicit (AFAIK). This format is
> for explicit modules (though can probably be used to some extent by
> implicit modules).
Here again, we're not on the same page. The goal here is to spec an
implicit mode that doesn't require a build system to explicitly manage
>> Elaborating on #1 above.? P1103R2 states in 2.3.4p2:
>> "When a *#include* appears within non-modular code, if the named
>> header file is known to correspond to a legacy header unit, the
>> implementation treats the *#include* as an import of the
>> corresponding legacy header unit. The mechanism for discovering this
>> correspondence is left implementation-defined; there are multiple
>> viable strategies here (such as explicitly building legacy header
>> modules and providing them as input to downstream compilations, or
>> introducing accompanying files describing the legacy header
>> structure) and we wish to encourage exploration of this space. An
>> implementation is also permitted to not provide any mapping
>> mechanism, and process each legacy header unit independently."
>> For the purposes of the TR, we'll need to define a mechanism for
>> nominating a header file as a header unit.? Clang modules accomplishes
> For the TR, probably. For this format, no. I'm leaning towards CMake
> just saying "if you want to import a header, say `import`". But passing
> extra flags to give a list of headers which are importable and having
> the scan step report as if it did `import` in the dependency
> information.
I'm not sure what you mean by "this format". If you are talking about
the compiler generated dependency output format, what I am talking about
here is completely unrelated to that.
>> this via a module.modulemap file that must be co-located with the header
>> file.? When processing a #include directive, Clang searches include
>> paths normally for a matching header file and, if a module.modulemap
>> file is present, scans it to see if the header file is associated with a
>> defined module.? If it is, then the header is treated as a header unit,
>> otherwise (or if module support is disabled), it is treated as a
>> traditional header.? I like this approach for several reasons:
>> 1. It doesn't require any new search paths.? Existing include paths suffice.
>> 2. Having the module map file co-located with the header files it
>> governs avoids complicated path matching needs.
>> If such a module map file is also used to map module IDs to module
>> interface unit source files, then we can also avoid requiring separate
>> search paths for module interface units.? An obvious consequence of this
>> is that module interface unit source files would need to be present in
>> an include path.
> The module map file consumed by the compiler for the name -> bmi mapping
> format is not that much work for *me*. If compilers agree on a format,
> I'm 100% OK with that. I encourage you to start a new thread discussing
> module map details because I, at least, view it as out-of-scope for this
> format specification.

Please check the email thread again. This thread is about support for
bad old build systems.


> --Ben
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Received on 2019-03-08 17:04:50