[Numpy-discussion] Linker script, smaller source files and symbol visibility

Charles R Harris charlesr.harris@gmail....
Tue Apr 21 00:06:33 CDT 2009

On Mon, Apr 20, 2009 at 10:13 PM, David Cournapeau <
david@ar.media.kyoto-u.ac.jp> wrote:

> Charles R Harris wrote:
> >
> > Here is a link to the start of the old discussion
> > <
> http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.python.numeric.general/12974/match=exported+symbols+code+reorganization
> >.
> > You took part in it also.
> Thanks, I remembered we had the discussion, but could not find it. The
> different is that I am much more familiar with the technical details and
> numpy codebase now :) I know how to control exported symbols on most
> platform which matter (I can't test for AIX or HP-UX unfortunately - but
> I am perfectly fine with ignoring namespace pollution on those anyway),
> and I would guess that the only platforms which do not support symbol
> visibility in one way or the other do not support shared library anyway
> (some CRAY stuff, for example).
> Concerning the file size, I don't think anyone would disagree that they
> are too big, but we don't need to go the "java-way" of one
> file/class-function either. One first split which I personally like is
> API/implementation. For example, for multiarray.c, we would only keep
> the public PyArray_* functions, and put everything else in another file.
> The other very big file is arrayobject.c, and this one is already mostly
> organized in independent parts (buffer protocol, number protocol, etc...)
> Another thing I would like to do it to make the global C API array
> pointer a 'true' global variable instead of a static one. It took me a
> while when I was working on the hashing protocol for dtype to understand
> why it was crashing (the array pointer being static, every file has its
> own copy, so it was never initialized in the hashdescr.c file). I think
> a true global variable, hidden through a symbol map, is easier to
> understand and more reliable.

I made an experiment along those lines a couple of years ago. There were
compilation problems because the needed include files weren't available. No
doubt that could be fixed in the build, but at some point I would like to
have real include files, not the generated variety. Generated include files
are kind of bogus IMHO, as they don't define an interface but rather reflect
whatever the function definition happens to be. So as any part of a split I
would also suggest writing the associated include files. That would also
make separate compilation possible, which would make it easier to do test
compilations while doing development.

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