[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: GC and simple smobs??

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: GC and simple smobs??
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 23:46:36 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Jean Abou Samra <> writes:

> Hi,
> Once again, the more I try to understand how GC works at
> the C++ level, the more I get lost. Of course, not being
> too good at low-level programming doesn't help. Take this
> random exported function:
> LY_DEFINE (ly_duration_less_p, "ly:duration<?",
>            2, 0, 0, (SCM p1, SCM p2),
>            R"(
> Is @var{p1} shorter than @var{p2}?
>            )")
> {
>   auto *const a = LY_ASSERT_SMOB (Duration, p1, 1);
>   auto *const b = LY_ASSERT_SMOB (Duration, p2, 2);
>   if (Duration::compare (*a, *b) < 0)
>     return SCM_BOOL_T;
>   else
>     return SCM_BOOL_F;
> }
> This is my understanding:
> Duration is a Simple_smob type.
> That means a Duration object can be allocated either on the stack
> or on the BDWGC heap.
> Since p1 and p2 are SCM, they are BDWGC-heap-allocated in this case.

Nope.  They are on the stack.  They may either be immediate SCM values
with nothing on the heap (like SCM_EOL or small integers), or they may
point to a heap cell.  In that case, scanning the stack during GC will
pick up the SCM values and mark the associated cells in the heap.

> The unsmobbed a and b are thus pointers to data on the BDWGC heap.

> Since they are pointers to the part of the SCM that stores the C++
> object, and not to the start of the SCM value, they won't cause the
> SCM to be marked by their mere existence on the stack.


> p1 and p2 are not used after the LY_ASSERT_SMOB calls. The compiler
> could drop them before the end of the function.

Unlikely since that would mess up the stack frame, but let's assume so.

> In that case, nothing protects p1 and p2 between the two LY_ASSERT_SMOB
> lines and the Duration::compare. If the ly:duration<? call is a tail
> call, Guile itself might not hold references to the duration objects.
> If that happens, a crash would ensue.

Why?  There is no allocation happening anywhere, so there is no reason
to do garbage collection.  At least I think that is the rationale also
covering a lot of Guile-internal code.

> This pattern looks somewhat frequent, so I hope I am wrong. If so,
> where is my mistake?

Hopefully above.

David Kastrup

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]