Amigo is an experiment to radically reinvision the Go tools ecosystem, including cmd/compile, cmd/vet, x/tools/gopls, and users of the go/* and x/tools/go/* APIs.
Every proper experiment starts with declaring its hypotheses in advance, and amigo is no exception.
Replace trees with tapes. The simdjson project demonstrates the performance benefit of parsing files into minimally structured token sequences, and then implementing a cursor API on top. Similarly, flatbuffers demonstrate the value of simply mapping data files into memory and walking them as-is, rather than trying to parse into traditional (sparse) data structures. I anticipate we can see similar benefits with parsing and traversing Go syntax.
Opaque internal data structures. The go/types type checker suffers from the Go 1 compatibility guarantee: APIs like go/ast and go/types must remain backwards compatible for existing users, which constrains how they can be extended to support new Go language features. This results in monotonically increasing implementation complexity, and in turn maintainer anxiety in deciding how to extend existing APIs.
First-class serialization. Today, Go tools frequently re-parse source files and re-type-check source packages. The compiler’s “Unified IR” experiment demonstrates the benefit of serializing to bytes right away, and then developing multiple readers that can inflate the results into tool-appropriate data structures.
Build SSA during type checking. Today, the type checker walks the AST, disambiguates various syntactic forms, and records a bunch of typing information; and then the SSA builders need to re-walk the same AST, disambiguate the same syntactic forms, and lookup all the recorded typing information. I anticipate that by incorporating SSA construction directly into type checking, we can reduce code complexity and improve performance (e.g., through better memory locality).
Separate phases to improve concurrency. A typical Go build involves compiling each package in the dependency graph, and a package cannot be compiled until all of its dependencies have been compiled first. However, within cmd/compile, each compilation is internally split into a sequence of phases, and not all phases actually affect dependent packages. For example, (fully) type checking a package only requires having type checked all imported package’s package-scope declarations; it does not require type checking function bodies, much less compiling and optimizing to machine instructions. By better defining these separate phases and the data flow between them, I anticipate we could further improve build concurrency.
Should amigo incorporate cmd/asm and/or cmd/cgo too? I think yes, but cmd/asm seems especially challenging to incorporate, without pulling in all of cmd/internal/obj.
I suspect something like LLVM bitstream’s “abbreviations” will be applicable here. For each unique instruction shape, we can define a separate abbreviation, so that instructions themselves can be very efficiently encoded, and the cmd/asm decoder can use vtables to rapidly construct obj.Progs (or report errors) from the encoded instructions.