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dis - Dis object file


A Dis object file contains the executable form of a single module, and conventionally uses the file suffix .dis.

The following names are used in the description of the file encoding.

An unsigned 8-bit byte.
A 32-bit integer value represented in exactly 4 bytes.
A 64-bit integer value represented in exactly 8 bytes.
An integer stored in a compact variable-length encoding selected by the two most significant bits as follows:

0x	signed 7 bits, 1 byte
10 signed 14 bits, 2 bytes 11 signed 30 bits, 4 bytes

A variable length sequence of bytes terminated by a zero byte. Names thus represented are in utf(6) format.

All integers are encoded in two's complement format, most significant byte first.

Every object file has a header followed by five sections containing code, data, and several sorts of descriptors:

header code-section type-section data-section module-name link-section

Each section is described in turn below.

The header contains a magic number, a digital signature, a flag word, sizes of the other sections, and a description of the entry point. It has the following format:

	magic signatureOs runflag stack-extent
		code-size data-size type-size link-size entry-pc entry-type
magic, runflag:
stack-extent, code-size, data-size, type-size, link-size:
entry-pc, entry-type:

The magic number is defined as 819248 (symbolically XMAGIC), for modules that have not been signed cryptographically, and 923426 (symbolically SMAGIC), for modules that contain a signature. The symbolic names XMAGIC and SMAGIC are defined by the C include file /include/isa.h and by the Limbo module dis(2).

The signature is present only if the magic number is SMAGIC. It has the form:

	length signature-data
	byte ...

A digital signature is defined by a length, followed by an array of bytes of that length that contain the signature in some unspecified format. Data within the signature should identify the signing authority, algorithm, and data to be signed.

Runflag is a bit mask that selects various execution options for a Dis module. The flags currently defined are:

The module must be compiled into native instructions for execution (using a just-in-time compiler); if the implementation cannot do that, the load instruction should given an error.
The module should not be compiled into native instructions, when that is the default for the runtime environment, but should be interpreted. This flag may be set to allow debugging or to save memory.
SHAREMP (1<<2)
Each instance of the module should use the same module data for all instances of the module. There is no implicit synchronisation between threads using the shared data.
HASLDT (1<<4)
The dis file contains a separate import section. On older versions of the system, this section was within the data section.
The dis file contains an exception handler section.

Stack-extent, if non-zero, gives the number of bytes by which the thread stack of this module should be extended in the event that procedure calls exhaust the allocated stack. While stack extension is transparent to programs, increasing this value may improve the efficiency of execution at the expense of using more memory.

Code-size, type-size and link-size give the number of entries (instructions, type descriptors, linkage directives) in the corresponding sections.

Data-size is the size in bytes of the module's global data area (not the number of items in data-section).

Entry-pc is an integer index into the instruction stream that is the default entry point for this module. It should point to the first instruction of a function. Instructions are numbered from a program counter value of zero.

Entry-type is the index of the type descriptor in the type section that corresponds to the function entry point set by entry-pc.

Code Section
The code section describes a sequence of instructions for the virtual machine. There are code-size instructions. An instruction is encoded as follows:

	opcode address-mode middle-dataOs source-dataOs dest-dataOs
opcode, address-mode:
source-data, dest-data:
	operand operandOs

The one byte opcode specifies the instruction to execute; opcodes are defined by the virtual machine specification.

The address-mode byte specifies the addressing mode of each of the three operands: middle, source and destination. The source and destination operands are encoded by three bits and the middle operand by two bits. The bits are packed as follows:

bit  7  6  5  4  3  2  1  0
    m1 m0 s2 s1 s0 d2 d1 d0

The following definitions are used in the description of addressing modes:

30 bit integer operand
16 bit unsigned small offset from register
16 bit signed immediate value
30 bit signed large offset from register

The middle operand is encoded as follows:

00 none
no middle operand
01 $SI
small immediate
10 SO(FP)
small offset indirect from FP
11 SO(MP)
small offset indirect from MP

The middle-data field is present only if the middle operand specifier of the address-mode is not `none'. If the field is present it is encoded as an operand.

The source and destination operands are encoded as follows:

000 LO(MP)
offset indirect from MP
001 LO(FP)
offset indirect from FP
010 $OP
30 bit immediate
011 none
no operand
100 SO(SO(MP))
double indirect from MP
101 SO(SO(FP))
double indirect from FP

The source-data and dest-data fields are present only when the corresponding address-mode field is not `none'. For offset indirect and immediate modes the field contains a single operand value. For double indirect modes the values are encoded as two operands: the first is the register indirect offset, and the second is the final indirect offset. The offsets for double indirect addressing cannot be larger than 16 bits.

Type Section
The type section contains type-size type descriptors describing the layout of pointers within data types. The format of each descriptor is:

	desc-number memsize mapsize map
desc-number, memsize, mapsize:
	byte ...

The desc-number is a small integer index used to identify the descriptor to instructions such as new. Memsize is the size in bytes of the memory described by this type.

The mapsize field gives the size in bytes of the following map array. Map is an array of bytes representing a bit map where each bit corresponds to a word in memory. The most significant bit corresponds to the lowest address. For each bit in the map, the word at the corresponding offset in the type is a pointer iff the bit is set to 1.

Data Section
The data section encodes the contents of the data segment for the module, addressed by MP at run-time. The section contains a sequence of items of the following form:

	code countOs offset data-value ...
count, offset:

Each item contains an offset into the section, followed by one or more data values in a machine-independent encoding. As each value is placed in the data segment, the offset is incremented by the size of the datum.

The code byte has two 4-bit fields. The bottom 4 bits of code gives the number of data-values if there are between 1 and 15; if there are more than 15, the low-order field is zero, and a following operand gives the count.

The top 4 bits of code encode the type of each data-value in the item, which determines its encoding. The defined values are:

8 bit bytes
32 bit integers, one word each
string value encoded by utf(6) in count bytes
real values in IEEE754 canonical representation, 8 bytes each
Array, represented by two words giving type and length
Set base for data items: one word giving an array index
Restore base for data items: no operands
64 bit big, 8 bytes each

The loader maintains a current base address and a stack of addresses. Each item's value is stored at the address formed by adding the current offset to the current base address. That address initially is the base of the module's data segment. The `set base' operation immediately follows an `array' data-item. It stacks the current base address and sets the current base address to the address of the array element selected by its operand. The `restore base' operation sets the current base address to the address on the top of the stack, and pops the stack.

Module name
The module name immediately follows the data section. It contains the name of the module implemented by the object file, as a sequence of bytes in UTF encoding, terminated by a zero byte.

Link Section
The link section contains an array of link-size external linkage items, listing the functions exported by this module. Each variable-length item contains the following:

	pc desc sig fn-name
pc, desc:

Fn-name is the name of an exported function. Adt member functions appear with their full names: the member name qualified by the adt name, in the form adt-name.member-name, for instance Iobuf.gets.

Pc is the instruction number of its entry point. Desc is an index value that selects a type descriptor in the type section, which gives the type of the function's stack frame. Sig is an integer hash of the type signature of the function, used in type checking.

Import Section
The optional import section lists all those functions imported from other modules. This allows type checking at load time. The size of the section in bytes is given at the start in operand form. For each module imported there is a list of functions imported from that module. For each function, its type signature (a word) is followed by a 0 terminated list of bytes representing its name.

Handler Section
The final optional section lists all exception handlers declared in the module. The number of such handlers is given at the start of the section in operand form. For each one, its format is:

	offset pc1 pc2 desc nlab exc-tab
offset, pc1, pc2, desc, nlab:
	exc-name pc ... exc-name pc pc

Each handler specifies the frame offset of its exception structure, the range of pc values it covers (from pc1 up to but not including pc2), the type descriptor of any memory that needs destroying by the handler (or -1 if none), the number of exceptions in the handler and then the exception table itself. The latter consists of a list of exception names and the corresponding pc to jump to when this exception is raised. This is then followed by the pc to jump to in any wildcard (*) case or -1 if this is not applicable.


asm(1), dis(2), sbl(6)
``The Dis Virtual Machine Specification'', Volume 2

DIS(6 ) Rev:  Thu Feb 15 14:43:48 GMT 2007