Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Inter-process Communication Reply To: Inter-process Communication

Ivan Godard
Keymaster
Post count: 629

The Mill call instructions take a static argument with the expected result count. For encoding efficiency reasons the common cases of no result or one result are special-cased, giving three opcodes: call0, call1, and calln. The hardware matches the number of result in the retn instruction with the expected count, and faults on a mismatch; the fault follows the standard fault sequence.

Only the count is checked, and only for belt results. You can still shoot yourself by returning a value of an unexpected width – say a short when a double is expected. However, it is also possible to write width-agnostic code in some cases, because each datum carries its width in metadata. The “sig(..)” instruction can be used to check the width without disturbing the belt.

Arguments and results that are too big or too many to fit on the belt are passed in memory. Memory carries no metadata so it is not possible to verify the count and widths of memory operands. Memory bounds checking provides a limited form of sanity checking, but in general it is up to software to verify that the content of the memory arg/result area makes sense.