What should I do or don't do to avoid Delphi "push dword" bug.

Posted by Maksee on Stack Overflow See other posts from Stack Overflow or by Maksee
Published on 2009-08-18T15:36:38Z Indexed on 2010/03/20 2:11 UTC
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I found that Delphi 5 generates invalid assembly code in specific cases. I can't understand in what cases in general. The example below produces access violation since a very strange optimization occurs. For a byte in a record or array Delphi generates push dword [...], pop ebx, mov .., bl that works correctly if there are data after this byte (we need at least three to push dword correctly), but fails if the data is inaccessible. I emulated the strict boundaries here with win32 Virtual* functions

Specifically the error occurs when the last byte from the block accessed inside FeedBytesToClass procedure. And if I try to change something like using data array instead of object property of remove actionFlag variable, Delphi generates correct assembly instructions.

const
  BlockSize = 4096;

type
  TSomeClass = class
  private
    fBytes: PByteArray;
  public
    property Bytes: PByteArray read fBytes;
    constructor Create;
    destructor  Destroy;override;
  end;

constructor TSomeClass.Create;
begin
  inherited Create;
  GetMem(fBytes, BlockSize);
end;

destructor TSomeClass.Destroy;
begin
  FreeMem(fBytes);
  inherited;
end;

procedure FeedBytesToClass(SrcDataBytes: PByteArray; Count: integer);
var
  j: integer;
  Ofs: integer;
  actionFlag: boolean;
  AClass: TSomeClass;
begin
  AClass:=TSomeClass.Create;
  try
    actionFlag:=true;

    for j:=0 to Count-1 do
    begin
      Ofs:=j;
      if actionFlag then
      begin
        AClass.Bytes[Ofs]:=SrcDataBytes[j];
      end;
    end;
  finally
    AClass.Free;
  end;
end;

procedure TForm31.Button1Click(Sender: TObject);
var
  SrcDataBytes: PByteArray;
begin
  SrcDataBytes:=VirtualAlloc(Nil, BlockSize, MEM_COMMIT, PAGE_READWRITE);
  try
    if VirtualLock(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize) then
      try
        FeedBytesToClass(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize);
      finally
        VirtualUnLock(SrcDataBytes, BlockSize);
      end;
  finally
    VirtualFree(SrcDataBytes, MEM_DECOMMIT, BlockSize);
  end;
end;

Initially the error occured when I used access to RGB data of bitmap bits, but the code there is too complex so I narrowed it to this fragment.

So the question is what is here so specific that makes Delphi produce push,pop,mov optimization. I need to know this in order to avoid such side effects in general.

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