[gambit-list] Garbage Collection BlackMagic

Marc Feeley feeley at iro.umontreal.ca
Sun Jun 14 10:19:48 EDT 2009

On 14-Jun-09, at 9:35 AM, lowly coder wrote:

> In the code running at 100fps, I do a minimal amount of allocating.  
> It's practiaclly:
> (vector-for-map *some-vec* draw-object)
> (define (draw-object x)
>   (call some gl-rotate / gl-translate)
>   (gl/CallList x))
> However, I do have  _ALOT_ of static data lying around. In fact, I  
> have large geometric models (from which I derive the open gl display  
> lists) lying around in memory. They're vectors of lists / other  
> vectors / other lists / ... of points / quads.
> This data also doesn't change, except at _very_ predefined locations.
> I guess if I can do somethign like:
> (##gc)
> ( somehow tell gambit that the data currently left over is mostly  
> static? )
> ... continue running ...
> That sould be ideal.
> why does vector vs list mater much for ##still-copy ?
> Thanks!

Are you using plain Scheme vectors to store your numeric data?  Here  
it will pay off to use f32vectors, f64vectors or any homogeneous  
numerical vectors.  That's because the content of these vectors are  
not scanned by the garbage collector.  As I said in a previous  
message, if these vectors are still objects they will not be moved by  
the garbage collector, which further reduces the time needed.  You can  
force an object to be still by passing it to ##still-copy.  For example:

 > (define v (f32vector 1. 2. 3.))
 > (define v2 (##still-copy v))
 > (list v v2)
(#f32(1. 2. 3.) #f32(1. 2. 3.))
 > (##still-copy (list 1 2 3))
(1 2 3)

Note that in the last call to ##still-copy, a still copy is only  
created for the pair at the head of the list.  In other words ##still- 
copy does a shallow copy.  If you want a deep copy you have to code it  
yourself.  That's why David said ##still-copy is less useful for lists.

An alternative is to store the data as C data, and use the FFI to  
access it.  The difficulty level will depend on the data and how you  
manipulate it.

If you want to allocate "constant Scheme data" the only option right  
now is to create a Scheme file like:

(define my-constant-data '#f32(1.0 2.0 3.0))

then compile the file with gsc and load the object file into your  
running application.

I'm working on a solution for allocating constant data at run time,  
but it is low on my TODO list.


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