Symtab for PECOFF


I’m working on an expressions evaluation on Windows, and currently I’m trying to make a JIT evaluation working.

When I’m trying to evaluate the next expression:

print S::x

on the next code:

struct S {

static int x;

void foo() { }


int S::x = 5;

int main() {

S().foo(); // here

return 0;


the evaluation requires JIT (but printing of global variables requires not, and I can’t figure out what is the key difference between a class static variable and a global variable in the case?).

During symbols resolving IRExecutionUnit::FindInSymbols is used, and it searches a symbol among functions (which is not our case), and then calls Module::FindSymbolsWithNameAndType for each module in the list. This function looks symbols up in a Symtab, which is retrieved through a SymbolVendor, and it retrieves one from an ObjectFile. ELF files contain symbols for such a variables in their symbol tables, but the problem is that PE files usually contain info about exported (and imported) symbols only, so the lookup in Symtab fails.

I think that we need somehow to retrieve a symbols info from a symbol file. I thought that we can emit a Symtab from a SymbolFile just like from an ObjectFile (and for now implement it for SymbolFilePDB only), but I’m not sure if this solution is good. How can we solve the problem else?

It seems reasonable to me to say that if the symbol is not found in the executables symtab, it will fall back to searching in the symbol file… this logic doesn’t even need to be specific to PDB

Thanks for the reply!

Yes, the function search is implemented in the way similar to what you have described (and even the search in a symbol file is done before the search in a symtab). But for Module::FindSymbolsWithNameAndType function I can’t find any relevant function in the SymbolFile. Do you mean that we need to extend the SymbolFile interface with such a function (which will search all public symbols by the name and the type), and then implement it in derived classes?

That would be my thought, yea


I’ve almost done this, I’ll test it more carefully on the next week and will create a review.