Subject: Re: Allocating on the stack and *only* on the stack From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 13 Dec 2000 17:35:39 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Knut Arild Erstad | I know that closing files is often used as an example of finalization, | and this makes some sense: if a file descriptor object is being GCed | while the file is still open, of course you should close it before the | object is lost. But IMO it is bad style to wait for the GC to close | files, in fact I would want the finalizer to issue a warning if it has | to close the file. I think all (scarce) resources should have finalizers associated with their allocation request, and that having to relinquish them in the finalization code should cause a warning, preferably with a clue as to when and where the resource was requested. This both for safety and debugging purposes. The main reason not to use finalization for scarce resources, and files are a very good example, is that you circumvent error handling in case anything goes seriously wrong. File systems are known to run full no matter how big they are. Network connections may disappear under your feet. Et cetera. Interactive intervention with hung threads or even processes may cause unwind clauses not to be run, and it is unlikely that what failed to complete will fare any better in the finalization code. This leads me to believe that the finalization code should be system- supplied and written to protect the integrity of the system more than the application that failed to protect itself, leading to the obvious conclusion that really important resources need system support, with all the attendant machinery. This is probably not a new idea, so I'm heading for the Lisp machine manuals ... #:Erik -- The United States of America, soon a Bush league world power. Yeee-haw!