So, this preferred name feature is designed to print names in a more user-centric way (eg: “std::vector<std::string, …>” instead of “std::vector<std::basic_string<char, …>, …>”.
But this causes some divergence in the DWARF - the textual string says std::string, but the DW_TAG_template_type_parameter says std::basic_string<char…
This isn’t fundamentally problematic, kind of - there’s a bunch of ways the full string name of a template won’t match perfectly between producers and so consumers basically have to do some structural equivalence testing so far as I know. Though I’m not sure exactly how much - they could do it by normalizing the string (with GCC and LLVM’s default debug info don’t include structural descriptions of template parameters on template declarations - so consumers would have to do string normalization, rather than discarding the string argument representation and relying solely on the structural representation) in which case only a very advanced normalization that parsed std::string, did a lookup, resolved through typedefs and alias templates and then used the resulting string would succeed here. I haven’t tested gdb or lldb to see if/how they cope with this situation - but I would assume it’s not good.
So I think the only good solution here is to suppress use of preferred names when printing type names for debug info?
It might be nice to have use of preferred names (& maybe take it further - I have a prototype patch - and use the preferred names/types in the structural representation as well (which presumably would break mixed clang/gcc debug info with most consumers, I’d imagine - maybe it’d fall out OK for lldb when building ASTs)) under a flag? If you’re building the codebase with one compiler and/or you just want to do more experimentation with the feature? Not sure it’s worth it, but I think I have some reasonable attempt at this… (there’s one issue around cases of template declarations not carrying preferred names - discussed on the review itself)
Thoughts, feelings, perspectives?