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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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The magic Delphi ReturnAddress intrinsic

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/02/05

I could not find any official place where ReturnAddress is documented even though it is used at quite a few places in the RTL, VCL, FMX and 3rd party libraries like DUnitX, Spring4D, JCL, ReportBuilder, TeeChart.

I tried searching it in the contexts of Delphi 2007, Delphi 2009, but there is only a [] different System.ObjAuto.TParameters.ReturnAddress documented in XE2 and higher.

procedure Abort;
  raise EAbort.CreateRes(@SOperationAborted) at ReturnAddress;

There is a (usually broken*) ReturnAddr function used in various places of the RTL/VCL/FMX and (therefore wrongfully copied) in many other peoples code.

  function ReturnAddr: Pointer;
  // From classes.pas
    MOV     EAX,[EBP+4] // sysutils.pas says [EBP-4], but this works !
  • See the above link; I think this was fixed in Delphi XE, but the issue is still open.

Related to the above is the documented ExceptAddr.

I’ve used this in my ExceptionHelperUnit to build a GetStackTrace function in the example gist below.

I found these posts documenting the behaviour of the above intrinsic functions and more:


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