There are some compilers with a aggressive optimization which restricts function pointer parameters. Let's say opt restrict_args. When restrict_args is turned on, compiler will treat all function pointer parameters as restrict one.
I certainly understand the use case, in a general sense. In my experience, these options are used with (fairly old) pre-C99 code bases (and specifically C, not C++), which follow something akin to a one-function-per-source-file model and which can't be modified (e.g., for licensing reasons). Using these options are certainly considered bad practice, and they only apply to certain legacy code bases. Does this match your experience and expected usage?
In an engineering sense, this seems like a trivial feature to support. I don't object to supporting it, but if we do, we probably want to:
1. Restrict it's application to C (e.g., it should be an error to use with C++, OpenCL, CUDA, and any other languages that Clang supports).
2. When used with C99 or later language standards, the use of this flag generates a warning on each function definition with a fixit hint showing where the restrict keyword should be placed (we can then, optionally of course, use these fixits to automatically upgrade code where possible using our corresponding infrastructure). This warning should have a separate flag, and is disabled by default for pre-C99 standard modes, and enabled by default otherwise, but can be toggled independently.
int foo(int * a) + restrict_args opt
int foo(int * restrict a)
Here is a complete example:
extern int num;
int foo(int * a)
(*a) = 10;
Using IBM xlc compiler with option -qrestrict at -O2, we get result:
0: 00 00 4c 3c addis r2,r12,0
4: 00 00 42 38 addi r2,r2,0
8: 00 00 a2 3c addis r5,r2,0
c: 00 00 a5 e8 ld r5,0(r5)
10: 0b 00 00 38 li r0,11
14: 00 00 03 90 stw r0,0(r3)
18: 00 00 85 80 lwz r4,0(r5)
1c: 0b 00 60 38 li r3,11 ------>since we confirm num will not change the content where pointer to, compiler can directly return 11.
20: 01 00 04 38 addi r0,r4,1
24: 00 00 05 90 stw r0,0(r5)
28: 20 00 80 4e blr
Seems clang does not have such optimization. And I don't find similar option in gcc either.
Is it possible to add this optimization into clang?
Power Compiler Backend Developer