Implement libInterOp API exposing memory, ownership and thread safety information


Incremental compilation pipelines process code chunk-by-chunk by building an ever-growing translation unit. Code is then lowered into the LLVM IR and subsequently run by the LLVM JIT. Such a pipeline allows creation of efficient interpreters. The interpreter enables interactive exploration and makes the C++ language more user friendly. The incremental compilation mode is used by the interactive C++ interpreter, Cling, initially developed to enable interactive high-energy physics analysis in a C++ environment.

Clang and LLVM provide access to C++ from other programming languages, but currently only exposes the declared public interfaces of such C++ code even when it has parsed implementation details directly. Both the high-level and the low-level program representation has enough information to capture and expose more of such details to improve language interoperability. Examples include details of memory management, ownership transfer, thread safety, externalized side-effects, etc. For example, if memory is allocated and returned, the caller needs to take ownership; if a function is pure, it can be elided; if a call provides access to a data member, it can be reduced to an address lookup. The goal of this project is to develop API for libInterOp which are capable of extracting and exposing such information AST or from JIT-ed code and use it in cppyy (Python-C++ language bindings) as an exemplar. If time permits, extend the work to persistify this information across translation units and use it on code compiled with Clang.

Task ideas

There are several foreseen tasks:


C/C++, Python, Clang, LLVM, Cling, Clang-Repl

Desirable Skills

Expected results

Develop a facility which is able to detect memory allocation and deletion patterns and provide an API able to expose this information to users. If time permits develop facilities which capture information such as ownership transfer, thread safety and side-effects.

Candidate Guidelines and Evaluation

If you have interest in working on the project there is a list of things to do in order to maximize your chances to get selected:

  1. Contact the mentors and express interest in the project. Make sure you attach your CV;
  2. Download the source code of the cppyy, clang and llvm projects, build it and run the demos;
  3. Start familiarizing yourself with the codebase;
  4. If you have questions you can always contact a mentor.

The mentors are interested in working with all candidates but unfortunately the rules allow only one to be selected. There are a few tasks which give bonus points to candidate’s application:


Compiler-Research libInterOp clang-repl cling cppyy llvm clang

Additional Information

Corresponding Project

Participating Organizations