Declarative Composition of Stack Frames
When a compiler translates a procedure, it must lay out the procedure's
stack frame in a way that respects the calling convention.
compilers respect the convention either by restricting the order in
which slots can be allocated or
by using different abstractions ad hoc for allocating in
different regions of a frame.
Such techniques cause the implementation of the layout to be spread
over much of the compiler, making it difficult to maintain and verify.
We have concentrated the implementation of layout into a single,
unifying abstraction: the block.
The block abstraction
decouples layout from slot allocation.
Stack-frame layout is specified in one central place, and
even complex layouts are achieved by composing blocks using only
two simple operators.
Our implementation is used in the Quick C-- compiler to
support multiple calling conventions on multiple architectures.
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