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    Saturday, 30 March 2013

    Scanning for assembly code in Free Software packages

    In the Linaro Enterprise Group, my task for the last several weeks was to work through a huge number of packages looking for assembly code. Why? So that we could identify code that would need porting to work well on AArch64, the new 64-bit execution state coming to the ARM world Real Soon Now.

    Working with some Ubuntu and Fedora developers, we generated a list of packages included in each distribution that seemed to contain assembly code of some sort. Then I worked through that list, checking to see:

    1. if there was actually any assembly there;
    2. if so, what it was for, and
    3. whether it was actually used

    I've written a full report about what I found in the scan, and I'll be writing some more articles based on it shortly.

    03:08 :: # :: /linaro :: 2 comments


    Re: Scanning for assembly code in Free Software packages
    Bernhard R. Link wrote on Sat, 30 Mar 2013 09:37

    I've also seen some other pattern I'd be interested to know if you saw that and can say how common it is: Some software (a big offender here used to be qt) has assembly for many architectures but also a generic C implementation for some low level stuff. But due to bitrot and/or the code never being used the generic code is totally broken (I think the BTS has most of those under various titles as "hppa problems"). Is that a common pattern or a special case?

      Re: Re: Scanning for assembly code in Free Software packages
      Steve wrote on Mon, 01 Apr 2013 01:45

      Hi Bernhard,

      I haven't seen *too* much of that, but I must admit I've not really been looking for it. I did find a lot of fallback code, but I wasn't specifically checking for correctness I'm afraid...


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