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858. Wording for Minimal Support for Garbage Collection

Section: 99 [] Status: CD1 Submitter: Pete Becker Opened: 2008-06-21 Last modified: 2016-01-28

Priority: Not Prioritized

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The first sentence of the Effects clause for undeclare_reachable seems to be missing some words. I can't parse

... for all non-null p referencing the argument is no longer declared reachable...

I take it the intent is that undeclare_reachable should be called only when there has been a corresponding call to declare_reachable. In particular, although the wording seems to allow it, I assume that code shouldn't call declare_reachable once then call undeclare_reachable twice.

I don't know what "shall be live" in the Requires clause means.

In the final Note for undeclare_reachable, what does "cannot be deallocated" mean? Is this different from "will not be able to collect"?

For the wording on nesting of declare_reachable and undeclare_reachable, the words for locking and unlocking recursive mutexes probably are a good model.

[ San Francisco: ]

Nick: what does "shall be live" mean?

Hans: I can provide an appropriate cross-reference to the Project Editor to clarify the intent.

Proposed resolution:

In 99 [] (N2670, Minimal Support for Garbage Collection)

Add at the beginning, before paragraph 39

A complete object is declared reachable while the number of calls to declare_reachable with an argument referencing the object exceeds the number of undeclare_reachable calls with pointers to the same complete object.

Change paragraph 42 (Requires clause for undeclare_reachable)

If p is not null, declare_reachable(p) was previously called the complete object referenced by p shall have been previously declared reachable, and shall be live (6.7.3 []) from the time of the call until the last undeclare_reachable(p) call on the object.

Change the first sentence in paragraph 44 (Effects clause for undeclare_reachable):

Effects: Once the number of calls to undeclare_reachable(p) equals the number of calls to declare_reachable(p) for all non-null p referencing the argument is no longer declared reachable. When this happens, pointers to the object referenced by p may not be subsequently dereferenced. After a call to undeclare_reachable(p), if p is not null and the object q referenced by p is no longer declared reachable, then dereferencing any pointer to q that is not safely derived results in undefined behavior. ...

Change the final note:

[Note: It is expected that calls to declare_reachable(p) will consume a small amount of memory, in addition to that occupied by the referenced object, until the matching call to undeclare_reachable(p) is encountered. In addition, the referenced object cannot be deallocated during this period, and garbage collecting implementations will not be able to collect the object while it is declared reachable. Long running programs should arrange that calls for short-lived objects are matched. --end note]