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A Verifier for JVM byte code that you can run off-line with detailed error reporting. Great for compiler writers. Useless for everyone else.

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README

   Kresten's Verifier for Java Byte Codes
   ======================================


   The interface to the verifier is currently very crude.  
   To run it, type

     prompt>  java verify.Tool  class-or-file-name ...

   If you give it a name of a class file, it will try to figure out
   the corresponding class name, (removing leading "./", and
   terminating ".class", and replace '.' with the path seperator).

   To start off, you may want to verify the verifier. On unix, you can
   write something like this,

     prompt>  java verify.Tool `find verify/ -name '*.class'`


   As it runs, it will print a '.' for each method checked, and a '#'
   whenever it loads extra auxillary classes needed.


   It has two interesting options.

     --classpath=PATH

   Where path is a : or ; separated path (according to the java
   property "path.separator").  This specifies the "class path" from
   which to load classes.  The classpath defaults to whatever the Java
   Runtime decides to make available in the java.class.path property.

   The verifier does not use the Java system's class loader.  Rather,
   it incorporates it's own loading mechanism which is more
   ligh-weight.  Also you don't really need to "load" classes in order
   to verify them.


   The second interesting option is 
   
     --verbose=true

   which will make the verifier print a line of information for each
   instruction checked.  (or perhaps this is just to be considered my
   debugging output...)  It might look like this:

     --[151]----------
     (##)     <[#JXJX#I#I????????> pc=151 new
     (##@)    <[#JXJX#I#I????????> pc=154 dup
     (##@@)   <[#JXJX#I#I????????> pc=155 iconst_1
     (##@@I)  <[#JXJX#I#I????????> pc=156 invokespecial
     calling java/lang/Boolean.<init> (boolean) void

   For a given sequence of four instructions.  The --[151]---- marks
   an entrypoint for a basic block.  The part on the left, in
   parentheses describes the state of the stack at this particular
   instruction.  Each character represents one "stack item".  The
   right-most element is the top of the stack.  Generally, these are
   the same as the characters encoding types in a field descriptor,
   "I" is integer, "J" is long, "D" is double and so on.  Special are
   however "X", representing the second half of a long, and "Q", the
   same thing for doubles.  "#" is a normal object, "@" is an
   uninitialized object (one for which a constructor has not yet been
   called) and "[" is an array.  (See types/TypeTags.java for the full
   list)
 
   On the right, in angle brackets, is the "state" of the local
   variables.  These are represented using the same characters as
   before.   Location, which have yet to be assigned a value, are
   marked with "?".  One of the jobs of the verifier is to make sure
   that such a location is never being read.

   Finally, on the right, you see the current pc (program counter) and
   the symbolic name of the opcode being checked.

   When the bytecode verifier detects an error, and you did not choose
   the --verbose=true option already, it will turn it on for you, and
   re-check the very same method.
   
   Right now, the interface is rather crude.  If you get no specific
   messages, that means that your code did verify.


   
   As a consequence of the way it works, it may discover unreachable
   code in the instruction sequence.  I have not seen javac-generated
   code with unreachable instructions, but several other compilers
   produce them all over.  In specific, IBM's Jikes compiler does.  
   When the verifier discovers such a sequence, it will print a
   message like 

          unreachable in fooBar(): 3417+4, 7732+2

   Where the +X means how many bytes onward in the byte sequence to
   find the unreachable code.


   
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