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MIR definition and pass system

This file contains the definition of the MIR datatypes along with the various types for the "MIR Pass" system, which lets you easily register and define new MIR transformations and analyses.

Most of the code that operates on MIR can be found in the librustc_mir crate or other crates. The code found here in librustc is just the datatype definitions, alonging the functions which operate on MIR to be placed everywhere else.

MIR Data Types and visitor

The main MIR data type is rustc::mir::Mir, defined in There is also the MIR visitor (in which allows you to walk the MIR and override what actions will be taken at various points (you can visit in either shared or mutable mode; the latter allows changing the MIR in place). Finally contains various traversal routines for visiting the MIR CFG in different standard orders (e.g. pre-order, reverse post-order, and so forth).

MIR pass suites and their integration into the query system

As a MIR consumer, you are expected to use one of the queries that returns a "final MIR". As of the time of this writing, there is only one: optimized_mir(def_id), but more are expected to come in the future. For foreign def-ids, we simply read the MIR from the other crate's metadata. But for local query, this query will construct the MIR and then iteratively optimize it by putting it through various pipeline stages. This section describes those pipeline stages and how you can extend them.

To produce the optimized_mir(D) for a given def-id D, the MIR passes through several suites of optimizations, each represented by a query. Each suite consists of multiple optimizations and transformations. These suites represent useful intermediate points where we want to access the MIR for type checking or other purposes:


The intermediate queries mir_const() and mir_validated() yield up a &'tcx Steal<Mir<'tcx>>, allocated using tcx.alloc_steal_mir(). This indicates that the result may be stolen by the next suite of optimizations -- this is an optimization to avoid cloning the MIR. Attempting to use a stolen result will cause a panic in the compiler. Therefore, it is important that you not read directly from these intermediate queries except as part of the MIR processing pipeline.

Because of this stealing mechanism, some care must also be taken to ensure that, before the MIR at a particular phase in the processing pipeline is stolen, anyone who may want to read from it has already done so. Concretely, this means that if you have some query foo(D) that wants to access the result of mir_const(D) or mir_validated(D), you need to have the successor pass either "force" foo(D) using ty::queries::foo::force(...). This will force a query to execute even though you don't directly require its result.

As an example, consider MIR const qualification. It wants to read the result produced by the mir_const() suite. However, that result will be stolen by the mir_validated() suite. If nothing was done, then mir_const_qualif(D) would succeed if it came before mir_validated(D), but fail otherwise. Therefore, mir_validated(D) will force mir_const_qualif before it actually steals, thus ensuring that the reads have already happened:

mir_const(D) --read-by--> mir_const_qualif(D)
     |                       ^
  stolen-by                  |
     |                    (forces)
     v                       |
mir_validated(D) ------------+

Implementing and registering a pass

To create a new MIR pass, you simply implement the MirPass trait for some fresh singleton type Foo. Once you have implemented a trait for your type Foo, you then have to insert Foo into one of the suites; this is done in librustc_driver/ by invoking push_pass(S, Foo) with the appropriate suite substituted for S.