December 10, 2012
On Monday, 10 December 2012 at 11:39:24 UTC, Thiez wrote:
> On Saturday, 8 December 2012 at 21:47:32 UTC, Dan wrote:
>> My approach is to have a general dup function. I call it gdup, for global dup so the name does not conflict with the existing dup. It dup's fields recursively. Feel free to have a look and any suggestions appreciated. Would greatly appreciate if seasoned D developers like (Ali,  bearophile, ...) would review - as I use these mixins to simplify development with structs.
>
> What would happen to the recursive dup if the structure contains a cycle (e.g. A has a reference to B, which has a reference to C, which has a reference to the original A)?

By reference I assume you mean pointer.

That would be an infinite loop. If you have a compile time cycle you would likely need your own custom dups anyway, as you are doing low level and heap allocating already. But for the simpler cases without cycles, if dup encounters a pointer it creates a new instance on the heap (if compilation is possible) and dup's into it.
December 10, 2012
On Monday, 10 December 2012 at 12:45:16 UTC, Dan wrote:
> That would be an infinite loop. If you have a compile time cycle you would likely need your own custom dups anyway, as you are doing low level and heap allocating already. But for the simpler cases without cycles, if dup encounters a pointer it creates a new instance on the heap (if compilation is possible) and dup's into it.

Wouldn't it be better to do a cycle detection here? I imagine such a thing could be done quite easily by adding every pointer in the original struct to an associative array along with its (new) copy. Then, whenever you encounter a new pointer, you can check if it is already in the AA, and if so use the copy you made before. Of course this has some overhead compared to your suggestion, but it seems to me it would be safe in all cases, which makes more sense with a 'general dup'.
December 10, 2012
On Monday, 10 December 2012 at 13:37:46 UTC, Thiez wrote:
> On Monday, 10 December 2012 at 12:45:16 UTC, Dan wrote:
>> That would be an infinite loop. If you have a compile time cycle you would likely need your own custom dups anyway, as you are doing low level and heap allocating already. But for the simpler cases without cycles, if dup encounters a pointer it creates a new instance on the heap (if compilation is possible) and dup's into it.
>
> Wouldn't it be better to do a cycle detection here? I imagine such a thing could be done quite easily by adding every pointer in the original struct to an associative array along with its (new) copy. Then, whenever you encounter a new pointer, you can check if it is already in the AA, and if so use the copy you made before. Of course this has some overhead compared to your suggestion, but it seems to me it would be safe in all cases, which makes more sense with a 'general dup'.

I see a few possibilities:

(0) Do nothing and caveat coder

(1) Compile time check for possibility of cycle and if exists do not compile. This way the scenario you mention, which may or may not really have instance cycles, would not even compile. This may be overly aggressive.

(2) Compile time check for possibility of cycle and runtime checks ensuring there are none.

(3) Disallow dup on structs with embedded pointers (excepting array and associative array). Similar to (0) but now basic structs with pointers to other basic structs and no chance of cycles would not be dupable.

I'm fine with any of these because I figure if you are allocating your own objects you probably want to write your own postblit and dup. But, you are correct, cycle detection at runtime would be better - assuming there was no runtime performance hit for the case when cycles are not possible which is known at compile time.

I'm not so sure it is as easy as a simple AA, though.
-------
struct S {
 struct Guts {
 }
 Guts guts;
}
S s;
-------

In this case both &s and &s.guts have the same address. So you might want to have an AA per type? But where would those exist? On the stack? If so how would you pass it through to all the recursive calls?

I'm not saying it is not doable - I just think it may be a pretty big effort.

Thanks,
Dan
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