November 21
Let's assume that all the useful D constructs like class objects, dynamic arrays, associative arrays, delegates, exceptions are allocated with a reference count at a negative offset (which can be optimized away during static analysis).

Then it should be possible to write library code that supports both gc and nogc. It seems to me that this would be possible if:

- all functions are templated behind the scenes with a hidden template parameter "allocator_strategy". This parameter is inherited from the calling context unless it is explicitly set.

- library aggregates (classes structs) have to use a specific notation for owning pointers and nonowning pointers. This will also speed up GC collection if the collector is precise (it does not have to follow nonowning pointers).

If the context is "allocator_gc" then it will just use raw pointers, and mark the ones that are owning for tracing and also be careful about using gc_root IR intrinsics when calling C-functions to makes sure that the pointer is live during the function call.

If the context is "allocator_arc" then it will use an ARC pointer and emit acquire/release (retain/release) intrinsics at the IR level (or AST).

If the context is "allocator_bump" then it will just emit C-like code.

Please note that this is static, not dynamic, so it should yield efficient code.

November 21
On Saturday, 21 November 2020 at 12:14:58 UTC, Ola Fosheim Grøstad wrote:
> If the context is "allocator_bump" then it will just emit C-like code.

It could also allow "allocator_shared_ptr" for people who want to interface with C++. Which would be useful for C++ code that calls into D code.