Link-time symbol alternate selection

Andy Ross

This change is a little experimental. Comments requested.

The last patch in the series has the clearest explanation of the
justification: we have two printf() formatters in the code base, one
for printk() with a minimal implementation and one in minimal libc
which is more standards compliant. But many/most projects that use
the latter end up including both versions, which is a few hundred
bytes of waste. Wouldn't it be nice if we could use printk() as it
stands in drivers, etc..., but if some OTHER code happened to suck
libc printf into the mix "fall forward" to use the bigger version

Now we can. This series introduces a FUNC_ALIAS_PRIORITY mechanism
which allows exactly this behavior -- priority-based selection among
symbols referenced (not just included!) in the link.

Basically this leverage the pre-existing two phase link we were
already doing on x86. The first pass includes all versions of the
aliased symbols and some metadata emitted by that macro, then the
second pass gets some linker script output that tells it which ones to
junk and which to include.

Longer term, it would be fun to use this mechanism for other tricks.
How about automagic "stub reduction" which can detect at link time
when only one instance of an API type (one network device, one block
storage driver, etc...) exists and eliminate the...

return device->api_struct->this_function_callback(my, repeated, arguments); of indirection entirely?

The preliminary patch series is here, early patches are cleanup and
refactoring, then the switch to a "generic" two phase link, then the
printk hack. Makefile: Don't hide the "prebuilt" kernel Makefile: Clean up x86 second stage linker pass Makefile: unify linker behavior, all architectures use two-pass linking Link-time symbol priority-based replacement printk: Use link-time aliasing to share implementation with printf

These are just for comment right now, things still missing:

+ I need to turn my hacky test rig into a proper test

+ Only x86 works right now. The linker scripts are 100% segregated by
architecture (which seems like a bug worth fixing) and I need to
paste the same code in to the other platforms.

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