To unify or not to unify: A case study on unified builds (in WebKit)

Takafumi Kubota, Yusuke Suzuki, Kenji Kono

研究成果: Conference contribution


Unified builds are a simple but effective technique to reduce the build time of large software projects. Unified builds generate large compiler tasks by bundling multiple source files into one, resulting in a significant reduction in build time through removal of redundant work incurred by shared headers. However, unified builds have a negative effect on incremental builds because each compiler task gets larger. An ad-hoc unification strategy causes an excessive slowdown in incremental builds. A rough report from WebKit says the worst slowdown is 20% (6s → 7s), but our investigation shows it is as high as 479% (19s → 110s). In this paper, we investigate the characteristics of unified builds to find a sweet spot, which generates compiler tasks that reduce the full build time without increasing the incremental build time. An in-depth analysis of WebKit reveals 1) source files with higher header similarity should be unified, 2) source files that have significant differences in compile times should not be unified, and 3) source files that are not frontend-intensive should not be unified. Our case study shows the total build time is reduced by 2.66%, and the worst slowdown falls from 479% to 129%. These findings will be of help in deriving a more intelligent strategy of unification and give a basis for discussions on future build systems, compilers, and module systems that cooperatively generate efficient compiler tasks.

ホスト出版物のタイトルCC 2019 - Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Compiler Construction
編集者Milind Kulkarni, J. Nelson Amaral
出版社Association for Computing Machinery
出版ステータスPublished - 2019 2 16
イベント28th International Conference on Compiler Construction, CC 2019 - Washington, United States
継続期間: 2019 2 162019 2 17


名前ACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference28th International Conference on Compiler Construction, CC 2019
国/地域United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • ソフトウェア
  • 人間とコンピュータの相互作用
  • コンピュータ ビジョンおよびパターン認識
  • コンピュータ ネットワークおよび通信