Marijn pointed out to me that our current setup should avoid the worst of the versioning problems I was afraid of. In the snapshot, we package up a copy of the compiler along with its associated libraries, and use this compiler to produce the new compiler. The new compiler can then compilers its own target libraries, thus avoiding the need to interact with libraries produced by the snapshot.

Of course, I should have known this, since I have relied on this so that I can changed the metadata format without worrying about backwards compatibility. That’s what I get for writing blog posts late at night.

Anyhow, the good news is that we are able to serialize and deserialize AST trees faithfully, and I have written (but not tested) the code to serialize the side tables. I am now working on the deserialization code and the pass which will instantiate sources to be inlined.