The Boehm-Demers-Weiser conservative C/C++ Garbage Collector (libgc, bdwgc, boehmgc)
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Copyright 1988, 1989 Hans-J. Boehm, Alan J. Demers Copyright (c) 1991-1996 by Xerox Corporation. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 1996-1999 by Silicon Graphics. All rights reserved. THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED AS IS, WITH ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. ANY USE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Permission is hereby granted to use or copy this program for any purpose, provided the above notices are retained on all copies. Permission to modify the code and to distribute modified code is granted, provided the above notices are retained, and a notice that the code was modified is included with the above copyright notice. This is version 5.0alpha3 of a conservative garbage collector for C and C++. You might find a more recent version of this at http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Hans_Boehm/gc HISTORY - Early versions of this collector were developed as a part of research projects supported in part by the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. Much of the code was rewritten by Hans-J. Boehm (email@example.com) at Xerox PARC and at SGI. Some other contributors: More recent contributors are mentioned in the modification history at the end of this file. My apologies for any omissions. The SPARC specific code was contributed by Mark Weiser (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Encore Multimax modifications were supplied by Kevin Kenny (email@example.com). The adaptation to the RT is largely due to Vernon Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org), on machines made available by IBM. Much of the HP specific code and a number of good suggestions for improving the generic code are due to Walter Underwood (email@example.com). Robert Brazile (firstname.lastname@example.org) originally supplied the ULTRIX code. Al Dosser (email@example.com) and Regis Cridlig (Regis.Cridlig@cl.cam.ac.uk) subsequently provided updates and information on variation between ULTRIX systems. Parag Patel (firstname.lastname@example.org) supplied the A/UX code. Jesper Peterson(email@example.com), Michel Schinz, and Martin Tauchmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) supplied the Amiga port. Thomas Funke (email@example.com(?)) and Brian D.Carlstrom (firstname.lastname@example.org) supplied the NeXT ports. Douglas Steel (email@example.com) provided ICL DRS6000 code. Bill Janssen (firstname.lastname@example.org) supplied the SunOS dynamic loader specific code. Manuel Serrano (email@example.com) supplied linux and Sony News specific code. Al Dosser provided Alpha/OSF/1 code. He and Dave Detlefs(firstname.lastname@example.org) also provided several generic bug fixes. Alistair G. Crooks(email@example.com) supplied the NetBSD and 386BSD ports. Jeffrey Hsu (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided the FreeBSD port. Brent Benson (email@example.com) ported the collector to a Motorola 88K processor running CX/UX (Harris NightHawk). Ari Huttunen (Ari.Huttunen@hut.fi) generalized the OS/2 port to nonIBM development environments (a nontrivial task). Patrick Beard (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided the initial MacOS port. David Chase, then at Olivetti Research, suggested several improvements. Scott Schwartz (email@example.com) supplied some of the code to save and print call stacks for leak detection on a SPARC. Jesse Hull and John Ellis supplied the C++ interface code. Zhong Shao performed much of the experimentation that led to the current typed allocation facility. (His dynamic type inference code hasn't made it into the released version of the collector, yet.) (Blame for misinstallation of these modifications goes to the first author, however.) OVERVIEW This is intended to be a general purpose, garbage collecting storage allocator. The algorithms used are described in: Boehm, H., and M. Weiser, "Garbage Collection in an Uncooperative Environment", Software Practice & Experience, September 1988, pp. 807-820. Boehm, H., A. Demers, and S. Shenker, "Mostly Parallel Garbage Collection", Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN '91 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, SIGPLAN Notices 26, 6 (June 1991), pp. 157-164. Boehm, H., "Space Efficient Conservative Garbage Collection", Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN '91 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, SIGPLAN Notices 28, 6 (June 1993), pp. 197-206. Possible interactions between the collector and optimizing compilers are discussed in Boehm, H., and D. Chase, "A Proposal for GC-safe C Compilation", The Journal of C Language Translation 4, 2 (December 1992). and Boehm H., "Simple GC-safe Compilation", Proceedings of the ACM SIGPLAN '96 Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation. (Both are also available from http://reality.sgi.com/boehm/papers/, among other places.) Unlike the collector described in the second reference, this collector operates either with the mutator stopped during the entire collection (default) or incrementally during allocations. (The latter is supported on only a few machines.) It does not rely on threads, but is intended to be thread-safe. Some of the ideas underlying the collector have previously been explored by others. (Doug McIlroy wrote a vaguely similar collector that is part of version 8 UNIX (tm).) However none of this work appears to have been widely disseminated. Rudimentary tools for use of the collector as a leak detector are included, as is a fairly sophisticated string package "cord" that makes use of the collector. (See cord/README.) GENERAL DESCRIPTION This is a garbage collecting storage allocator that is intended to be used as a plug-in replacement for C's malloc. Since the collector does not require pointers to be tagged, it does not attempt to ensure that all inaccessible storage is reclaimed. However, in our experience, it is typically more successful at reclaiming unused memory than most C programs using explicit deallocation. Unlike manually introduced leaks, the amount of unreclaimed memory typically stays bounded. In the following, an "object" is defined to be a region of memory allocated by the routines described below. Any objects not intended to be collected must be pointed to either from other such accessible objects, or from the registers, stack, data, or statically allocated bss segments. Pointers from the stack or registers may point to anywhere inside an object. The same is true for heap pointers if the collector is compiled with ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS defined, as is now the default. Compiling without ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS may reduce accidental retention of garbage objects, by requiring pointers from the heap to to the beginning of an object. But this no longer appears to be a significant issue for most programs. There are a number of routines which modify the pointer recognition algorithm. GC_register_displacement allows certain interior pointers to be recognized even if ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS is nor defined. GC_malloc_ignore_off_page allows some pointers into the middle of large objects to be disregarded, greatly reducing the probablility of accidental retention of large objects. For most purposes it seems best to compile with ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS and to use GC_malloc_ignore_off_page if you get collector warnings from allocations of very large objects. See README.debugging for details. Note that pointers inside memory allocated by the standard "malloc" are not seen by the garbage collector. Thus objects pointed to only from such a region may be prematurely deallocated. It is thus suggested that the standard "malloc" be used only for memory regions, such as I/O buffers, that are guaranteed not to contain pointers to garbage collectable memory. Pointers in C language automatic, static, or register variables, are correctly recognized. (Note that GC_malloc_uncollectable has semantics similar to standard malloc, but allocates objects that are traced by the collector.) The collector does not always know how to find pointers in data areas that are associated with dynamic libraries. This is easy to remedy IF you know how to find those data areas on your operating system (see GC_add_roots). Code for doing this under SunOS, IRIX 5.X and 6.X, HP/UX, Alpha OSF/1, Linux, and win32 is included and used by default. (See README.win32 for win32 details.) On other systems pointers from dynamic library data areas may not be considered by the collector. Note that the garbage collector does not need to be informed of shared read-only data. However if the shared library mechanism can introduce discontiguous data areas that may contain pointers, then the collector does need to be informed. Signal processing for most signals may be deferred during collection, and during uninterruptible parts of the allocation process. Unlike standard ANSI C mallocs, it can be safe to invoke malloc from a signal handler while another malloc is in progress, provided the original malloc is not restarted. (Empirically, many UNIX applications already assume this.) To obtain this level of signal safety, remove the definition of -DNO_SIGNALS in Makefile. This incurs a minor performance penalty, and hence is no longer the default. The allocator/collector can also be configured for thread-safe operation. (Full signal safety can also be achieved, but only at the cost of two system calls per malloc, which is usually unacceptable.) INSTALLATION AND PORTABILITY As distributed, the macro SILENT is defined in Makefile. In the event of problems, this can be removed to obtain a moderate amount of descriptive output for each collection. (The given statistics exhibit a few peculiarities. Things don't appear to add up for a variety of reasons, most notably fragmentation losses. These are probably much more significant for the contrived program "test.c" than for your application.) Note that typing "make test" will automatically build the collector and then run setjmp_test and gctest. Setjmp_test will give you information about configuring the collector, which is useful primarily if you have a machine that's not already supported. Gctest is a somewhat superficial test of collector functionality. Failure is indicated by a core dump or a message to the effect that the collector is broken. Gctest takes about 35 seconds to run on a SPARCstation 2. On a slower machine, expect it to take a while. It may use up to 8 MB of memory. (The multi-threaded version will use more.) "Make test" will also, as its last step, attempt to build and test the "cord" string library. This will fail without an ANSI C compiler. The Makefile will generate a library gc.a which you should link against. Typing "make cords" will add the cord library to gc.a. Note that this requires an ANSI C compiler. It is suggested that if you need to replace a piece of the collector (e.g. GC_mark_rts.c) you simply list your version ahead of gc.a on the work.) ld command line, rather than replacing the one in gc.a. (This will generate numerous warnings under some versions of AIX, but it still works.) All include files that need to be used by clients will be put in the include subdirectory. (Normally this is just gc.h. "Make cords" adds "cord.h" and "ec.h".) The collector currently is designed to run essentially unmodified on machines that use a flat 32-bit or 64-bit address space. That includes the vast majority of Workstations and X86 (X >= 3) PCs. (The list here was deleted because it was getting too long and constantly out of date.) It does NOT run under plain 16-bit DOS or Windows 3.X. There are however various packages (e.g. win32s, djgpp) that allow flat 32-bit address applications to run under those systemsif the have at least an 80386 processor, and several of those are compatible with the collector. In a few cases (Amiga, OS/2, Win32, MacOS) a separate makefile or equivalent is supplied. Many of these have separate README.system files. Dynamic libraries are completely supported only under SunOS (and even that support is not functional on the last Sun 3 release), IRIX 5&6, HP-PA, Win32 (not Win32S) and OSF/1 on DEC AXP machines. On other machines we recommend that you do one of the following: 1) Add dynamic library support (and send us the code). 2) Use static versions of the libraries. 3) Arrange for dynamic libraries to use the standard malloc. This is still dangerous if the library stores a pointer to a garbage collected object. But nearly all standard interfaces prohibit this, because they deal correctly with pointers to stack allocated objects. (Strtok is an exception. Don't use it.) In all cases we assume that pointer alignment is consistent with that enforced by the standard C compilers. If you use a nonstandard compiler you may have to adjust the alignment parameters defined in gc_priv.h. A port to a machine that is not byte addressed, or does not use 32 bit or 64 bit addresses will require a major effort. A port to plain MSDOS or win16 is hard. For machines not already mentioned, or for nonstandard compilers, the following are likely to require change: 1. The parameters in gcconfig.h. The parameters that will usually require adjustment are STACKBOTTOM, ALIGNMENT and DATASTART. Setjmp_test prints its guesses of the first two. DATASTART should be an expression for computing the address of the beginning of the data segment. This can often be &etext. But some memory management units require that there be some unmapped space between the text and the data segment. Thus it may be more complicated. On UNIX systems, this is rarely documented. But the adb "$m" command may be helpful. (Note that DATASTART will usually be a function of &etext. Thus a single experiment is usually insufficient.) STACKBOTTOM is used to initialize GC_stackbottom, which should be a sufficient approximation to the coldest stack address. On some machines, it is difficult to obtain such a value that is valid across a variety of MMUs, OS releases, etc. A number of alternatives exist for using the collector in spite of this. See the discussion in gcconfig.h immediately preceding the various definitions of STACKBOTTOM. 2. mach_dep.c. The most important routine here is one to mark from registers. The distributed file includes a generic hack (based on setjmp) that happens to work on many machines, and may work on yours. Try compiling and running setjmp_t.c to see whether it has a chance of working. (This is not correct C, so don't blame your compiler if it doesn't work. Based on limited experience, register window machines are likely to cause trouble. If your version of setjmp claims that all accessible variables, including registers, have the value they had at the time of the longjmp, it also will not work. Vanilla 4.2 BSD on Vaxen makes such a claim. SunOS does not.) If your compiler does not allow in-line assembly code, or if you prefer not to use such a facility, mach_dep.c may be replaced by a .s file (as we did for the MIPS machine and the PC/RT). At this point enough architectures are supported by mach_dep.c that you will rarely need to do more than adjust for assembler syntax. 3. os_dep.c (and gc_priv.h). Several kinds of operating system dependent routines reside here. Many are optional. Several are invoked only through corresponding macros in gc_priv.h, which may also be redefined as appropriate. The routine GC_register_data_segments is crucial. It registers static data areas that must be traversed by the collector. (User calls to GC_add_roots may sometimes be used for similar effect.) Routines to obtain memory from the OS also reside here. Alternatively this can be done entirely by the macro GET_MEM defined in gc_priv.h. Routines to disable and reenable signals also reside here if they are need by the macros DISABLE_SIGNALS and ENABLE_SIGNALS defined in gc_priv.h. In a multithreaded environment, the macros LOCK and UNLOCK in gc_priv.h will need to be suitably redefined. The incremental collector requires page dirty information, which is acquired through routines defined in os_dep.c. Unless directed otherwise by gcconfig.h, these are implemented as stubs that simply treat all pages as dirty. (This of course makes the incremental collector much less useful.) 4. dyn_load.c This provides a routine that allows the collector to scan data segments associated with dynamic libraries. Often it is not necessary to provide this routine unless user-written dynamic libraries are used. For a different version of UN*X or different machines using the Motorola 68000, Vax, SPARC, 80386, NS 32000, PC/RT, or MIPS architecture, it should frequently suffice to change definitions in gcconfig.h. THE C INTERFACE TO THE ALLOCATOR The following routines are intended to be directly called by the user. Note that usually only GC_malloc is necessary. GC_clear_roots and GC_add_roots calls may be required if the collector has to trace from nonstandard places (e.g. from dynamic library data areas on a machine on which the collector doesn't already understand them.) On some machines, it may be desirable to set GC_stacktop to a good approximation of the stack base. (This enhances code portability on HP PA machines, since there is no good way for the collector to compute this value.) Client code may include "gc.h", which defines all of the following, plus many others. 1) GC_malloc(nbytes) - allocate an object of size nbytes. Unlike malloc, the object is cleared before being returned to the user. Gc_malloc will invoke the garbage collector when it determines this to be appropriate. GC_malloc may return 0 if it is unable to acquire sufficient space from the operating system. This is the most probable consequence of running out of space. Other possible consequences are that a function call will fail due to lack of stack space, or that the collector will fail in other ways because it cannot maintain its internal data structures, or that a crucial system process will fail and take down the machine. Most of these possibilities are independent of the malloc implementation. 2) GC_malloc_atomic(nbytes) - allocate an object of size nbytes that is guaranteed not to contain any pointers. The returned object is not guaranteed to be cleared. (Can always be replaced by GC_malloc, but results in faster collection times. The collector will probably run faster if large character arrays, etc. are allocated with GC_malloc_atomic than if they are statically allocated.) 3) GC_realloc(object, new_size) - change the size of object to be new_size. Returns a pointer to the new object, which may, or may not, be the same as the pointer to the old object. The new object is taken to be atomic iff the old one was. If the new object is composite and larger than the original object, then the newly added bytes are cleared (we hope). This is very likely to allocate a new object, unless MERGE_SIZES is defined in gc_priv.h. Even then, it is likely to recycle the old object only if the object is grown in small additive increments (which, we claim, is generally bad coding practice.) 4) GC_free(object) - explicitly deallocate an object returned by GC_malloc or GC_malloc_atomic. Not necessary, but can be used to minimize collections if performance is critical. Probably a performance loss for very small objects (<= 8 bytes). 5) GC_expand_hp(bytes) - Explicitly increase the heap size. (This is normally done automatically if a garbage collection failed to GC_reclaim enough memory. Explicit calls to GC_expand_hp may prevent unnecessarily frequent collections at program startup.) 6) GC_malloc_ignore_off_page(bytes) - identical to GC_malloc, but the client promises to keep a pointer to the somewhere within the first 256 bytes of the object while it is live. (This pointer should nortmally be declared volatile to prevent interference from compiler optimizations.) This is the recommended way to allocate anything that is likely to be larger than 100Kbytes or so. (GC_malloc may result in failure to reclaim such objects.) 7) GC_set_warn_proc(proc) - Can be used to redirect warnings from the collector. Such warnings should be rare, and should not be ignored during code development. 8) GC_enable_incremental() - Enables generational and incremental collection. Useful for large heaps on machines that provide access to page dirty information. Some dirty bit implementations may interfere with debugging (by catching address faults) and place restrictions on heap arguments to system calls (since write faults inside a system call may not be handled well). 9) Several routines to allow for registration of finalization code. User supplied finalization code may be invoked when an object becomes unreachable. To call (*f)(obj, x) when obj becomes inaccessible, use GC_register_finalizer(obj, f, x, 0, 0); For more sophisticated uses, and for finalization ordering issues, see gc.h. The global variable GC_free_space_divisor may be adjusted up from its default value of 4 to use less space and more collection time, or down for the opposite effect. Setting it to 1 or 0 will effectively disable collections and cause all allocations to simply grow the heap. The variable GC_non_gc_bytes, which is normally 0, may be changed to reflect the amount of memory allocated by the above routines that should not be considered as a candidate for collection. Careless use may, of course, result in excessive memory consumption. Some additional tuning is possible through the parameters defined near the top of gc_priv.h. If only GC_malloc is intended to be used, it might be appropriate to define: #define malloc(n) GC_malloc(n) #define calloc(m,n) GC_malloc((m)*(n)) For small pieces of VERY allocation intensive code, gc_inl.h includes some allocation macros that may be used in place of GC_malloc and friends. All externally visible names in the garbage collector start with "GC_". To avoid name conflicts, client code should avoid this prefix, except when accessing garbage collector routines or variables. There are provisions for allocation with explicit type information. This is rarely necessary. Details can be found in gc_typed.h. THE C++ INTERFACE TO THE ALLOCATOR: The Ellis-Hull C++ interface to the collector is included in the collector distribution. If you intend to use this, type "make c++" after the initial build of the collector is complete. See gc_cpp.h for the definition of the interface. This interface tries to approximate the Ellis-Detlefs C++ garbage collection proposal without compiler changes. Cautions: 1. Arrays allocated without new placement syntax are allocated as uncollectable objects. They are traced by the collector, but will not be reclaimed. 2. Failure to use "make c++" in combination with (1) will result in arrays allocated using the default new operator. This is likely to result in disaster without linker warnings. 3. If your compiler supports an overloaded new operator, then gc_cpp.cc and gc_cpp.h should be suitably modified. 4. Many current C++ compilers have deficiencies that break some of the functionality. See the comments in gc_cpp.h for suggested workarounds. USE AS LEAK DETECTOR: The collector may be used to track down leaks in C programs that are intended to run with malloc/free (e.g. code with extreme real-time or portability constraints). To do so define FIND_LEAK in Makefile This will cause the collector to invoke the report_leak routine defined near the top of reclaim.c whenever an inaccessible object is found that has not been explicitly freed. The collector will no longer reclaim inaccessible memory; in this form it is purely a debugging tool. Productive use of this facility normally involves redefining report_leak to do something more intelligent. This typically requires annotating objects with additional information (e.g. creation time stack trace) that identifies their origin. Such code is typically not very portable, and is not included here, except on SPARC machines. If all objects are allocated with GC_DEBUG_MALLOC (see next section), then the default version of report_leak will report the source file and line number at which the leaked object was allocated. This may sometimes be sufficient. (On SPARC/SUNOS4 machines, it will also report a cryptic stack trace. This can often be turned into a sympolic stack trace by invoking program "foo" with "callprocs foo". Callprocs is a short shell script that invokes adb to expand program counter values to symbolic addresses. It was largely supplied by Scott Schwartz.) Note that the debugging facilities described in the next section can sometimes be slightly LESS effective in leak finding mode, since in leak finding mode, GC_debug_free actually results in reuse of the object. (Otherwise the object is simply marked invalid.) Also note that the test program is not designed to run meaningfully in FIND_LEAK mode. Use "make gc.a" to build the collector. DEBUGGING FACILITIES: The routines GC_debug_malloc, GC_debug_malloc_atomic, GC_debug_realloc, and GC_debug_free provide an alternate interface to the collector, which provides some help with memory overwrite errors, and the like. Objects allocated in this way are annotated with additional information. Some of this information is checked during garbage collections, and detected inconsistencies are reported to stderr. Simple cases of writing past the end of an allocated object should be caught if the object is explicitly deallocated, or if the collector is invoked while the object is live. The first deallocation of an object will clear the debugging info associated with an object, so accidentally repeated calls to GC_debug_free will report the deallocation of an object without debugging information. Out of memory errors will be reported to stderr, in addition to returning NIL. GC_debug_malloc checking during garbage collection is enabled with the first call to GC_debug_malloc. This will result in some slowdown during collections. If frequent heap checks are desired, this can be achieved by explicitly invoking GC_gcollect, e.g. from the debugger. GC_debug_malloc allocated objects should not be passed to GC_realloc or GC_free, and conversely. It is however acceptable to allocate only some objects with GC_debug_malloc, and to use GC_malloc for other objects, provided the two pools are kept distinct. In this case, there is a very low probablility that GC_malloc allocated objects may be misidentified as having been overwritten. This should happen with probability at most one in 2**32. This probability is zero if GC_debug_malloc is never called. GC_debug_malloc, GC_malloc_atomic, and GC_debug_realloc take two additional trailing arguments, a string and an integer. These are not interpreted by the allocator. They are stored in the object (the string is not copied). If an error involving the object is detected, they are printed. The macros GC_MALLOC, GC_MALLOC_ATOMIC, GC_REALLOC, GC_FREE, and GC_REGISTER_FINALIZER are also provided. These require the same arguments as the corresponding (nondebugging) routines. If gc.h is included with GC_DEBUG defined, they call the debugging versions of these functions, passing the current file name and line number as the two extra arguments, where appropriate. If gc.h is included without GC_DEBUG defined, then all these macros will instead be defined to their nondebugging equivalents. (GC_REGISTER_FINALIZER is necessary, since pointers to objects with debugging information are really pointers to a displacement of 16 bytes form the object beginning, and some translation is necessary when finalization routines are invoked. For details, about what's stored in the header, see the definition of the type oh in debug_malloc.c) INCREMENTAL/GENERATIONAL COLLECTION: The collector normally interrupts client code for the duration of a garbage collection mark phase. This may be unacceptable if interactive response is needed for programs with large heaps. The collector can also run in a "generational" mode, in which it usually attempts to collect only objects allocated since the last garbage collection. Furthermore, in this mode, garbage collections run mostly incrementally, with a small amount of work performed in response to each of a large number of GC_malloc requests. This mode is enabled by a call to GC_enable_incremental(). Incremental and generational collection is effective in reducing pause times only if the collector has some way to tell which objects or pages have been recently modified. The collector uses two sources of information: 1. Information provided by the VM system. This may be provided in one of several forms. Under Solaris 2.X (and potentially under other similar systems) information on dirty pages can be read from the /proc file system. Under other systems (currently SunOS4.X) it is possible to write-protect the heap, and catch the resulting faults. On these systems we require that system calls writing to the heap (other than read) be handled specially by client code. See os_dep.c for details. 2. Information supplied by the programmer. We define "stubborn" objects to be objects that are rarely changed. Such an object can be allocated (and enabled for writing) with GC_malloc_stubborn. Once it has been initialized, the collector should be informed with a call to GC_end_stubborn_change. Subsequent writes that store pointers into the object must be preceded by a call to GC_change_stubborn. This mechanism performs best for objects that are written only for initialization, and such that only one stubborn object is writable at once. It is typically not worth using for short-lived objects. Stubborn objects are treated less efficiently than pointerfree (atomic) objects. A rough rule of thumb is that, in the absence of VM information, garbage collection pauses are proportional to the amount of pointerful storage plus the amount of modified "stubborn" storage that is reachable during the collection. Initial allocation of stubborn objects takes longer than allocation of other objects, since other data structures need to be maintained. We recommend against random use of stubborn objects in client code, since bugs caused by inappropriate writes to stubborn objects are likely to be very infrequently observed and hard to trace. However, their use may be appropriate in a few carefully written library routines that do not make the objects themselves available for writing by client code. BUGS: Any memory that does not have a recognizable pointer to it will be reclaimed. Exclusive-or'ing forward and backward links in a list doesn't cut it. Some C optimizers may lose the last undisguised pointer to a memory object as a consequence of clever optimizations. This has almost never been observed in practice. Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for suggestions on how to fix your compiler. This is not a real-time collector. In the standard configuration, percentage of time required for collection should be constant across heap sizes. But collection pauses will increase for larger heaps. (On SPARCstation 2s collection times will be on the order of 300 msecs per MB of accessible memory that needs to be scanned. Your mileage may vary.) The incremental/generational collection facility helps, but is portable only if "stubborn" allocation is used. Please address bug reports to email@example.com. If you are contemplating a major addition, you might also send mail to ask whether it's already been done (or whether we tried and discarded it). RECENT VERSIONS: Version 1.3 and immediately preceding versions contained spurious assembly language assignments to TMP_SP. Only the assignment in the PC/RT code is necessary. On other machines, with certain compiler options, the assignments can lead to an unsaved register being overwritten. Known to cause problems under SunOS 3.5 WITHOUT the -O option. (With -O the compiler recognizes it as dead code. It probably shouldn't, but that's another story.) Version 1.4 and earlier versions used compile time determined values for the stack base. This no longer works on Sun 3s, since Sun 3/80s use a different stack base. We now use a straightforward heuristic on all machines on which it is known to work (incl. Sun 3s) and compile-time determined values for the rest. There should really be library calls to determine such values. Version 1.5 and earlier did not ensure 8 byte alignment for objects allocated on a sparc based machine. Version 1.8 added ULTRIX support in gc_private.h. Version 1.9 fixed a major bug in gc_realloc. Version 2.0 introduced a consistent naming convention for collector routines and added support for registering dynamic library data segments in the standard mark_roots.c. Most of the data structures were revamped. The treatment of interior pointers was completely changed. Finalization was added. Support for locking was added. Object kinds were added. We added a black listing facility to avoid allocating at addresses known to occur as integers somewhere in the address space. Much of this was accomplished by adapting ideas and code from the PCR collector. The test program was changed and expanded. Version 2.1 was the first stable version since 1.9, and added support for PPCR. Version 2.2 added debugging allocation, and fixed various bugs. Among them: - GC_realloc could fail to extend the size of the object for certain large object sizes. - A blatant subscript range error in GC_printf, which unfortunately wasn't exercised on machines with sufficient stack alignment constraints. - GC_register_displacement did the wrong thing if it was called after any allocation had taken place. - The leak finding code would eventually break after 2048 byte byte objects leaked. - interface.c didn't compile. - The heap size remained much too small for large stacks. - The stack clearing code behaved badly for large stacks, and perhaps on HP/PA machines. Version 2.3 added ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS and fixed the following bugs: - Missing declaration of etext in the A/UX version. - Some PCR root-finding problems. - Blacklisting was not 100% effective, because the plausible future heap bounds were being miscalculated. - GC_realloc didn't handle out-of-memory correctly. - GC_base could return a nonzero value for addresses inside free blocks. - test.c wasn't really thread safe, and could erroneously report failure in a multithreaded environment. (The locking primitives need to be replaced for other threads packages.) - GC_CONS was thoroughly broken. - On a SPARC with dynamic linking, signals stayed diabled while the client code was running. (Thanks to Manuel Serrano at INRIA for reporting the last two.) Version 2.4 added GC_free_space_divisor as a tuning knob, added support for OS/2 and linux, and fixed the following bugs: - On machines with unaligned pointers (e.g. Sun 3), every 128th word could fail to be considered for marking. - Dynamic_load.c erroneously added 4 bytes to the length of the data and bss sections of the dynamic library. This could result in a bad memory reference if the actual length was a multiple of a page. (Observed on Sun 3. Can probably also happen on a Sun 4.) (Thanks to Robert Brazile for pointing out that the Sun 3 version was broken. Dynamic library handling is still broken on Sun 3s under 4.1.1U1, but apparently not 4.1.1. If you have such a machine, use -Bstatic.) Version 2.5 fixed the following bugs: - Removed an explicit call to exit(1) - Fixed calls to GC_printf and GC_err_printf, so the correct number of arguments are always supplied. The OS/2 C compiler gets confused if the number of actuals and the number of formals differ. (ANSI C doesn't require this to work. The ANSI sanctioned way of doing things causes too many compatibility problems.) Version 3.0 added generational/incremental collection and stubborn objects. Version 3.1 added the following features: - A workaround for a SunOS 4.X SPARC C compiler misfeature that caused problems when the collector was turned into a dynamic library. - A fix for a bug in GC_base that could result in a memory fault. - A fix for a performance bug (and several other misfeatures) pointed out by Dave Detlefs and Al Dosser. - Use of dirty bit information for static data under Solaris 2.X. - DEC Alpha/OSF1 support (thanks to Al Dosser). - Incremental collection on more platforms. - A more refined heap expansion policy. Less space usage by default. - Various minor enhancements to reduce space usage, and to reduce the amount of memory scanned by the collector. - Uncollectable allocation without per object overhead. - More conscientious handling of out-of-memory conditions. - Fixed a bug in debugging stubborn allocation. - Fixed a bug that resulted in occasional erroneous reporting of smashed objects with debugging allocation. - Fixed bogus leak reports of size 4096 blocks with FIND_LEAK. Version 3.2 fixed a serious and not entirely repeatable bug in the incremental collector. It appeared only when dirty bit info on the roots was available, which is normally only under Solaris. It also added GC_general_register_disappearing_link, and some testing code. Interface.c disappeared. Version 3.3 fixes several bugs and adds new ports: - PCR-specific bugs. - Missing locking in GC_free, redundant FASTUNLOCK in GC_malloc_stubborn, and 2 bugs in GC_unregister_disappearing_link. All of the above were pointed out by Neil Sharman (firstname.lastname@example.org). - Common symbols allocated by the SunOS4.X dynamic loader were not included in the root set. - Bug in GC_finalize (reported by Brian Beuning and Al Dosser) - Merged Amiga port from Jesper Peterson (untested) - Merged NeXT port from Thomas Funke (significantly modified and untested) Version 3.4: - Fixed a performance bug in GC_realloc. - Updated the amiga port. - Added NetBSD and 386BSD ports. - Added cord library. - Added trivial performance enhancement for ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS. (Don't scan last word.) Version 3.5 - Minor collections now mark from roots only once, if that doesn't cause an excessive pause. - The stack clearing heuristic was refined to prevent anomalies with very heavily recursive programs and sparse stacks. - Fixed a bug that prevented mark stack growth in some cases. GC_objects_are_marked should be set to TRUE after a call to GC_push_roots and as part of GC_push_marked, since both can now set mark bits. I think this is only a performance bug, but I wouldn't bet on it. It's certainly very hard to argue that the old version was correct. - Fixed an incremental collection bug that prevented it from working at all when HBLKSIZE != getpagesize() - Changed dynamic_loading.c to include gc_priv.h before testing DYNAMIC_LOADING. SunOS dynamic library scanning must have been broken in 3.4. - Object size rounding now adapts to program behavior. - Added a workaround (provided by Manuel Serrano and colleagues) to a long-standing SunOS 4.X (and 3.X?) ld bug that I had incorrectly assumed to have been squished. The collector was broken if the text segment size was within 32 bytes of a multiple of 8K bytes, and if the beginning of the data segment contained interesting roots. The workaround assumes a demand-loadable executable. The original may have have "worked" in some other cases. - Added dynamic library support under IRIX5. - Added support for EMX under OS/2 (thanks to Ari Huttunen). Version 3.6: - fixed a bug in the mark stack growth code that was introduced in 3.4. - fixed Makefile to work around DEC AXP compiler tail recursion bug. Version 3.7: - Added a workaround for an HP/UX compiler bug. - Fixed another stack clearing performance bug. Reworked that code once more. Version 4.0: - Added support for Solaris threads (which was possible only by reimplementing some fraction of Solaris threads, since Sun doesn't currently make the thread debugging interface available). - Added non-threads win32 and win32S support. - (Grudgingly, with suitable muttering of obscenities) renamed files so that the collector distribution could live on a FAT file system. Files that are guaranteed to be useless on a PC still have long names. Gc_inline.h and gc_private.h still exist, but now just include gc_inl.h and gc_priv.h. - Fixed a really obscure bug in finalization that could cause undetected mark stack overflows. (I would be surprised if any real code ever tickled this one.) - Changed finalization code to dynamically resize the hash tables it maintains. (This probably does not matter for well- -written code. It no doubt does for C++ code that overuses destructors.) - Added typed allocation primitives. Rewrote the marker to accommodate them with more reasonable efficiency. This change should also speed up marking for GC_malloc allocated objects a little. See gc_typed.h for new primitives. - Improved debugging facilities slightly. Allocation time stack traces are now kept by default on SPARC/SUNOS4. (Thanks to Scott Schwartz.) - Added better support for small heap applications. - Significantly extended cord package. Fixed a bug in the implementation of lazily read files. Printf and friends now have cord variants. Cord traversals are a bit faster. - Made ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS recognition the default. - Fixed de so that it can run in constant space, independent of file size. Added simple string searching to cords and de. - Added the Hull-Ellis C++ interface. - Added dynamic library support for OSF/1. (Thanks to Al Dosser and Tim Bingham at DEC.) - Changed argument to GC_expand_hp to be expressed in units of bytes instead of heap blocks. (Necessary since the heap block size now varies depending on configuration. The old version was never very clean.) - Added GC_get_heap_size(). The previous "equivalent" was broken. - Restructured the Makefile a bit. Since version 4.0: - Changed finalization implementation to guarantee that finalization procedures are called outside of the allocation lock, making direct use of the interface a little less dangerous. MAY BREAK EXISTING CLIENTS that assume finalizers are protected by a lock. Since there seem to be few multithreaded clients that use finalization, this is hopefully not much of a problem. - Fixed a gross bug in CORD_prev. - Fixed a bug in blacklst.c that could result in unbounded heap growth during startup on machines that do not clear memory obtained from the OS (e.g. win32S). - Ported de editor to win32/win32S. (This is now the only version with a mouse-sensitive UI.) - Added GC_malloc_ignore_off_page to allocate large arrays in the presence of ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS. - Changed GC_call_with_alloc_lock to not disable signals in the single-threaded case. - Reduced retry count in GC_collect_or_expand for garbage collecting when out of memory. - Made uncollectable allocations bypass black-listing, as they should. - Fixed a bug in typed_test in test.c that could cause (legitimate) GC crashes. - Fixed some potential synchronization problems in finalize.c - Fixed a real locking problem in typd_mlc.c. - Worked around an AIX 3.2 compiler feature that results in out of bounds memory references. - Partially worked around an IRIX5.2 beta problem (which may or may not persist to the final release). - Fixed a bug in the heap integrity checking code that could result in explicitly deallocated objects being identified as smashed. Fixed a bug in the dbg_mlc stack saving code that caused old argument pointers to be considered live. - Fixed a bug in CORD_ncmp (and hence CORD_str). - Repaired the OS2 port, which had suffered from bit rot in 4.0. Worked around what appears to be CSet/2 V1.0 optimizer bug. - Fixed a Makefile bug for target "c++". Since version 4.1: - Multiple bug fixes/workarounds in the Solaris threads version. (It occasionally failed to locate some register contents for marking. It also turns out that thr_suspend and friends are unreliable in Solaris 2.3. Dirty bit reads appear to be unreliable under some weird circumstances. My stack marking code contained a serious performance bug. The new code is extremely defensive, and has not failed in several cpu hours of testing. But no guarantees ...) - Added MacOS support (thanks to Patrick Beard.) - Fixed several syntactic bugs in gc_c++.h and friends. (These didn't bother g++, but did bother most other compilers.) Fixed gc_c++.h finalization interface. (It didn't.) - 64 bit alignment for allocated objects was not guaranteed in a few cases in which it should have been. - Added GC_malloc_atomic_ignore_off_page. - Added GC_collect_a_little. - Added some prototypes to gc.h. - Some other minor bug fixes (notably in Makefile). - Fixed OS/2 / EMX port (thanks to Ari Huttunen). - Fixed AmigaDOS port. (thanks to Michel Schinz). - Fixed the DATASTART definition under Solaris. There was a 1 in 16K chance of the collector missing the first 64K of static data (and thus crashing). - Fixed some blatant anachronisms in the README file. - Fixed PCR-Makefile for upcoming PPCR release. Since version 4.2: - Fixed SPARC alignment problem with GC_DEBUG. - Fixed Solaris threads /proc workaround. The real problem was an interaction with mprotect. - Incorporated fix from Patrick Beard for gc_c++.h (now gc_cpp.h). - Slightly improved allocator space utilization by fixing the GC_size_map mechanism. - Integrated some Sony News and MIPS RISCos 4.51 patches. (Thanks to Nobuyuki Hikichi of Software Research Associates, Inc. Japan) - Fixed HP_PA alignment problem. (Thanks to email@example.com.) - Added GC_same_obj and friends. Changed GC_base to return 0 for pointers past the end of large objects. Improved GC_base performance with ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS on machines with a slow integer mod operation. Added GC_PTR_ADD, GC_PTR_STORE, etc. to prepare for preprocessor. - changed the default on most UNIX machines to be that signals are not disabled during critical GC operations. This is still ANSI-conforming, though somewhat dangerous in the presence of signal handlers. But the performance cost of the alternative is sometimes problematic. Can be changed back with a minor Makefile edit. - renamed IS_STRING in gc.h, to CORD_IS_STRING, thus following my own naming convention. Added the function CORD_to_const_char_star. - Fixed a gross bug in GC_finalize. Symptom: occasional address faults in that function. (Thanks to Anselm Baird-Smith (Anselm.BairdSmith@inria.fr) - Added port to ICL DRS6000 running DRS/NX. Restructured things a bit to factor out common code, and remove obsolete code. Collector should now run under SUNOS5 with either mprotect or /proc dirty bits. (Thanks to Douglas Steel (firstname.lastname@example.org)). - More bug fixes and workarounds for Solaris 2.X. (These were mostly related to putting the collector in a dynamic library, which didn't really work before. Also SOLARIS_THREADS didn't interact well with dl_open.) Thanks to email@example.com. - Fixed a serious performance bug on the DEC Alpha. The text segment was getting registered as part of the root set. (Amazingly, the result was still fast enough that the bug was not conspicuous.) The fix works on OSF/1, version 1.3. Hopefully it also works on other versions of OSF/1 ... - Fixed a bug in GC_clear_roots. - Fixed a bug in GC_generic_malloc_words_small that broke gc_inl.h. (Reported by Antoine de Maricourt. I broke it in trying to tweak the Mac port.) - Fixed some problems with cord/de under Linux. - Fixed some cord problems, notably with CORD_riter4. - Added DG/UX port. Thanks to Ben A. Mesander (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Added finalization registration routines with weaker ordering constraints. (This is necessary for C++ finalization with multiple inheritance, since the compiler often adds self-cycles.) - Filled the holes in the SCO port. (Thanks to Michael Arnoldus <email@example.com>.) - John Ellis' additions to the C++ support: From John: * I completely rewrote the documentation in the interface gc_c++.h (later renamed gc_cpp.h). I've tried to make it both clearer and more precise. * The definition of accessibility now ignores pointers from an finalizable object (an object with a clean-up function) to itself. This allows objects with virtual base classes to be finalizable by the collector. Compilers typically implement virtual base classes using pointers from an object to itself, which under the old definition of accessibility prevented objects with virtual base classes from ever being collected or finalized. * gc_cleanup now includes gc as a virtual base. This was enabled by the change in the definition of accessibility. * I added support for operator new. Since most (all?) compilers don't yet support operator new, it is conditionalized on -DOPERATOR_NEW_ARRAY. The code is untested, but its trivial and looks correct. * The test program test_gc_c++ (later renamed test_cpp.cc) tries to test for the C++-specific functionality not tested by the other programs. - Added <unistd.h> include to misc.c. (Needed for ppcr.) - Added PowerMac port. (Thanks to Patrick Beard again.) - Fixed "srcdir"-related Makefile problems. Changed things so that all externally visible include files always appear in the include subdirectory of the source. Made gc.h directly includable from C++ code. (These were at Per Bothner's suggestion.) - Changed Intel code to also mark from ebp (Kevin Warne's suggestion). - Renamed C++ related files so they could live in a FAT file system. (Charles Fiterman's suggestion.) - Changed Windows NT Makefile to include C++ support in gc.lib. Added C++ test as Makefile target. Since version 4.3: - ASM_CLEAR_CODE was erroneously defined for HP PA machines, resulting in a compile error. - Fixed OS/2 Makefile to create a library. (Thanks to Mark Boulter (firstname.lastname@example.org)). - Gc_cleanup objects didn't work if they were created on the stack. Fixed. - One copy of Gc_cpp.h in the distribution was out of synch, and failed to document some known compiler problems with explicit destructor invocation. Partially fixed. There are probably other compilers on which gc_cleanup is miscompiled. - Fixed Makefile to pass C compiler flags to C++ compiler. - Added Mac fixes. - Fixed os_dep.c to work around what appears to be a new and different VirtualQuery bug under newer versions of win32S. - GC_non_gc_bytes was not correctly maintained by GC_free. Fixed. Thanks to James Clark (email@example.com). - Added GC_set_max_heap_size. - Changed allocation code to ignore blacklisting if it is preventing use of a very large block of memory. This has the advantage that naive code allocating very large objects is much more likely to work. The downside is you might no longer find out that such code should really use GC_malloc_ignore_off_page. - Changed GC_printf under win32 to close and reopen the file between calls. FAT file systems otherwise make the log file useless for debugging. - Added GC_try_to_collect and GC_get_bytes_since_gc. These allow starting an abortable collection during idle times. This facility does not require special OS support. (Thanks to Michael Spertus of Geodesic Systems for suggesting this. It was actually an easy addition. Kumar Srikantan previously added a similar facility to a now ancient version of the collector. At the time this was much harder, and the result was less convincing.) - Added some support for the Borland development environment. (Thanks to John Ellis and Michael Spertus.) - Removed a misfeature from checksums.c that caused unexpected heap growth. (Thanks to Scott Schwartz.) - Changed finalize.c to call WARN if it encounters a finalization cycle. WARN is defined in gc_priv.h to write a message, usually to stdout. In many environments, this may be inappropriate. - Renamed NO_PARAMS in gc.h to GC_NO_PARAMS, thus adhering to my own naming convention. - Added GC_set_warn_proc to intercept warnings. - Fixed Amiga port. (Thanks to Michel Schinz (firstname.lastname@example.org).) - Fixed a bug in mark.c that could result in an access to unmapped memory from GC_mark_from_mark_stack on machines with unaligned pointers. - Fixed a win32 specific performance bug that could result in scanning of objects allocated with the system malloc. - Added REDIRECT_MALLOC. Since version 4.4: - Fixed many minor and one major README bugs. (Thanks to Franklin Chen (email@example.com) for pointing out many of them.) - Fixed ALPHA/OSF/1 dynamic library support. (Thanks to Jonathan Bachrach (firstname.lastname@example.org)). - Added incremental GC support (MPROTECT_VDB) for Linux (with some help from Bruno Haible). - Altered SPARC recognition tests in gc.h and config.h (mostly as suggested by Fergus Henderson). - Added basic incremental GC support for win32, as implemented by Windows NT and Windows 95. GC_enable_incremental is a noop under win32s, which doesn't implement enough of the VM interface. - Added -DLARGE_CONFIG. - Fixed GC_..._ignore_off_page to also function without -DALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS. - (Hopefully) fixed RS/6000 port. (Only the test was broken.) - Fixed a performance bug in the nonincremental collector running on machines supporting incremental collection with MPROTECT_VDB (e.g. SunOS 4, DEC AXP). This turned into a correctness bug under win32s with win32 incremental collection. (Not all memory protection was disabled.) - Fixed some ppcr related bit rot. - Caused dynamic libraries to be unregistered before reregistering. The old way turned out to be a performance bug on some machines. - GC_root_size was not properly maintained under MSWIN32. - Added -DNO_DEBUGGING and GC_dump. - Fixed a couple of bugs arising with SOLARIS_THREADS + REDIRECT_MALLOC. - Added NetBSD/M68K port. (Thanks to Peter Seebach <email@example.com>.) - Fixed a serious realloc bug. For certain object sizes, the collector wouldn't scan the expanded part of the object. (Thanks to Clay Spence (firstname.lastname@example.org) for noticing the problem, and helping me to track it down.) Since version 4.5: - Added Linux ELF support. (Thanks to Arrigo Triulzi <email@example.com>.) - GC_base crashed if it was called before any other GC_ routines. This could happen if a gc_cleanup object was allocated outside the heap before any heap allocation. - The heap expansion heuristic was not stable if all objects had finalization enabled. Fixed finalize.c to count memory in finalization queue and avoid explicit deallocation. Changed alloc.c to also consider this count. (This is still not recommended. It's expensive if nothing else.) Thanks to John Ellis for pointing this out. - GC_malloc_uncollectable(0) was broken. Thanks to Phong Vo for pointing this out. - The collector didn't compile under Linux 1.3.X. (Thanks to Fred Gilham for pointing this out.) The current workaround is ugly, but expected to be temporary. - Fixed a formatting problem for SPARC stack traces. - Fixed some '=='s in os_dep.c that should have been assignments. Fortunately these were in code that should never be executed anyway. (Thanks to Fergus Henderson.) - Fixed the heap block allocator to only drop blacklisted blocks in small chunks. Made BL_LIMIT self adjusting. (Both of these were in response to heap growth observed by Paul Graham.) - Fixed the Metrowerks/68K Mac code to also mark from a6. (Thanks to Patrick Beard.) - Significantly updated README.debugging. - Fixed some problems with longjmps out of signal handlers, especially under Solaris. Added a workaround for the fact that siglongjmp doesn't appear to do the right thing with -lthread under Solaris. - Added MSDOS/djgpp port. (Thanks to Mitch Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org).) - Added "make reserved_namespace" and "make user_namespace". The first renames ALL "GC_xxx" identifiers as "_GC_xxx". The second is the inverse transformation. Note that doing this is guaranteed to break all clients written for the other names. - descriptor field for kind NORMAL in GC_obj_kinds with ADD_BYTE_AT_END defined should be -ALIGNMENT not WORDS_TO_BYTES(-1). This is a serious bug on machines with pointer alignment of less than a word. - GC_ignore_self_finalize_mark_proc didn't handle pointers to very near the end of the object correctly. Caused failures of the C++ test on a DEC Alpha with g++. - gc_inl.h still had problems. Partially fixed. Added warnings at the beginning to hopefully specify the remaining dangers. - Added DATAEND definition to config.h. - Fixed some of the .h file organization. Fixed "make floppy". Since version 4.6: - Fixed some compilation problems with -DCHECKSUMS (thanks to Ian Searle) - Updated some Mac specific files to synchronize with Patrick Beard. - Fixed a serious bug for machines with non-word-aligned pointers. (Thanks to Patrick Beard for pointing out the problem. The collector should fail almost any conceivable test immediately on such machines.) Since version 4.7: - Changed a "comment" in a MacOS specific part of mach-dep.c that caused gcc to fail on other platforms. Since version 4.8 - More README.debugging fixes. - Objects ready for finalization, but not finalized in the same GC cycle, could be prematurely collected. This occasionally happened in test_cpp. - Too little memory was obtained from the system for very large objects. That could cause a heap explosion if these objects were not contiguous (e.g. under PCR), and too much of them was blacklisted. - Due to an improper initialization, the collector was too hesitant to allocate blacklisted objects immediately after system startup. - Moved GC_arrays from the data into the bss segment by not explicitly initializing it to zero. This significantly reduces the size of executables, and probably avoids some disk accesses on program startup. It's conceivable that it might break a port that I didn't test. - Fixed EMX_MAKEFILE to reflect the gc_c++.h to gc_cpp.h renaming which occurred a while ago. Since 4.9: - Fixed a typo around a call to GC_collect_or_expand in alloc.c. It broke handling of out of memory. (Thanks to Patrick Beard for noticing.) Since 4.10: - Rationalized (hopefully) GC_try_to_collect in an incremental collection environment. It appeared to not handle a call while a collection was in progress, and was otherwise too conservative. - Merged GC_reclaim_or_delete_all into GC_reclaim_all to get rid of some code. - Added Patrick Beard's Mac fixes, with substantial completely untested modifications. - Fixed the MPROTECT_VDB code to deal with large pages and imprecise fault addresses (as on an UltraSPARC running Solaris 2.5). Note that this was not a problem in the default configuration, which uses PROC_VDB. - The DEC Alpha assembly code needed to restore $gp between calls. Thanks to Fergus Henderson for tracking this down and supplying a patch. - The write command for "de" was completely broken for large files. I used the easiest portable fix, which involved changing the semantics so that f.new is written instead of overwriting f. That's safer anyway. - Added README.solaris2 with a discussion of the possible problems of mixing the collector's sbrk allocation with malloc/realloc. - Changed the data segment starting address for SGI machines. The old code failed under IRIX6. - Required double word alignment for MIPS. - Various minor fixes to remove warnings. - Attempted to fix some Solaris threads problems reported by Zhiying Chen. In particular, the collector could try to fork a thread with the world stopped as part of GC_thr_init. It also failed to deal with the case in which the original thread terminated before the whole process did. - Added -DNO_EXECUTE_PERMISSION. This has a major performance impact on the incremental collector under Irix, and perhaps under other operating systems. - Added some code to support allocating the heap with mmap. This may be preferable under some circumstances. - Integrated dynamic library support for HP. (Thanks to Knut Tvedten <email@example.com>.) - Integrated James Clark's win32 threads support, and made a number of changes to it, many of which were suggested by Pontus Rydin. This is still not 100% solid. - Integrated Alistair Crooks' support for UTS4 running on an Amdahl 370-class machine. - Fixed a serious bug in explicitly typed allocation. Objects requiring large descriptors where handled in a way that usually resulted in a segmentation fault in the marker. (Thanks to Jeremy Fitzhardinge for helping to track this down.) - Added partial support for GNU win32 development. (Thanks to Fergus Henderson.) - Added optional support for Java-style finalization semantics. (Thanks to Patrick Bridges.) This is recommended only for Java implementations. - GC_malloc_uncollectable faulted instead of returning 0 when out of memory. (Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org for noticing.) - Calls to GC_base before the collector was initialized failed on a DEC Alpha. (Thanks to Matthew Flatt.) - Added base pointer checking to GC_REGISTER_FINALIZER in debugging mode, at the suggestion of Jeremy Fitzhardinge. - GC_debug_realloc failed for uncollectable objects. (Thanks to Jeremy Fitzhardinge.) - Explicitly typed allocation could crash if it ran out of memory. (Thanks to Jeremy Fitzhardinge.) - Added minimal support for a DEC Alpha running Linux. - Fixed a problem with allocation of objects whose size overflowed ptrdiff_t. (This now fails unconditionally, as it should.) - Added the beginning of Irix pthread support. - Integrated Xiaokun Zhu's fixes for djgpp 2.01. - Added SGI-style STL allocator support (gc_alloc.h). - Fixed a serious bug in README.solaris2. Multithreaded programs must include gc.h with SOLARIS_THREADS defined. - Changed GC_free so it actually deallocates uncollectable objects. (Thanks to Peter Chubb for pointing out the problem.) - Added Linux ELF support for dynamic libararies. (Thanks again to Patrick Bridges.) - Changed the Borland cc configuration so that the assembler is not required. - Fixed a bug in the C++ test that caused it to fail in 64-bit environments. Since 4.11: - Fixed ElfW definition in dyn_load.c. (Thanks to Fergus Henderson.) This prevented the dynamic library support from compiling on some older ELF Linux systems. - Fixed UTS4 port (which I apparently mangled during the integration) (Thanks to again to Alistair Crooks.) - "Make C++" failed on Suns with SC4.0, due to a problem with "bool". Fixed in gc_priv.h. - Added more pieces for GNU win32. (Thanks to Timothy N. Newsham.) The current state of things should suffice for at least some applications. - Changed the out of memory retry count handling as suggested by Kenjiro Taura. (This matters only if GC_max_retries > 0, which is no longer the default.) - If a /proc read failed repeatedly, GC_written_pages was not updated correctly. (Thanks to Peter Chubb for diagnosing this.) - Under unlikely circumstances, the allocator could infinite loop in an out of memory situation. (Thanks again to Kenjiro Taura for identifying the problem and supplying a fix.) - Fixed a syntactic error in the DJGPP code. (Thanks to Fergus Henderson for finding this by inspection.) Also fixed a test program problem with DJGPP (Thanks to Peter Monks.) - Atomic uncollectable objects were not treated correctly by the incremental collector. This resulted in weird log statistics and occasional performance problems. (Thanks to Peter Chubb for pointing this out.) - Fixed some problems resulting from compilers that dont define __STDC__. In this case void * and char * were used inconsistently in some cases. (Void * should not have been used at all. If you have an ANSI superset compiler that does not define __STDC__, please compile with -D__STDC__=0. Thanks to Manuel Serrano and others for pointing out the problem.) - Fixed a compilation problem on Irix with -n32 and -DIRIX_THREADS. Also fixed some other IRIX_THREADS problems which may or may not have had observable symptoms. - Fixed an HP PA compilation problem in dyn_load.c. (Thanks to Philippe Queinnec.) - SEGV fault handlers sometimes did not get reset correctly. (Thanks to David Pickens.) - Added a fix for SOLARIS_THREADS on Intel. (Thanks again to David Pickens.) This probably needs more work to become functional. - Fixed struct sigcontext_struct in os_dep.c for compilation under Linux 2.1.X. (Thanks to Fergus Henderson.) - Changed the DJGPP STACKBOTTOM and DATASTART values to those suggested by Kristian Kristensen. These may still not be right, but it is it is likely to work more often than what was there before. They may even be exactly right. - Added a #include <string.h> to test_cpp.cc. This appears to help with HP/UX and gcc. (Thanks to email@example.com.) - Version 4.11 failed to run in incremental mode on recent 64-bit Irix kernels. This was a problem related to page unaligned heap segments. Changed the code to page align heap sections on all platforms. (I had mistakenly identified this as a kernel problem earlier. It was not.) - Version 4.11 did not make allocated storage executable, except on one or two platforms, due to a bug in a #if test. (Thanks to Dave Grove for pointing this out.) - Added sparc_sunos4_mach_dep.s to support Sun's compilers under SunOS4. - Added GC_exclude_static_roots. - Fixed the object size mapping algorithm. This shouldn't matter, but the old code was ugly. - Heap checking code could die if one of the allocated objects was larger than its base address. (Unsigned underflow problem. Thanks to Clay Spence for isolating the problem.) - Added RS6000 (AIX) dynamic library support and fixed STACK_BOTTOM. (Thanks to Fred Stearns.) - Added Fergus Henderson's patches for improved robustness with large heaps and lots of blacklisting. - Added Peter Chubb's changes to support Solaris Pthreads, to support MMAP allocation in Solaris, to allow Solaris to find dynamic libraries through /proc, to add malloc_typed_ignore_off_page, and a few other minor features and bug fixes. - The Solaris 2 port should not use sbrk. I received confirmation from Sun that the use of sbrk and malloc in the same program is not supported. The collector now defines USE_MMAP by default on Solaris. - Replaced the djgpp makefile with Gary Leavens' version. - Fixed MSWIN32 detection test. - Added Fergus Henderson's patches to allow putting the collector into a DLL under GNU win32. - Added Ivan V. Demakov's port to Watcom C on X86. - Added Ian Piumarta's Linux/PowerPC port. - On Brian Burton's suggestion added PointerFreeGC to the placement options in gc_cpp.h. This is of course unsafe, and may be controversial. On the other hand, it seems to be needed often enough that it's worth adding as a standard facility. Since 4.12: - Fixed a crucial bug in the Watcom port. There was a redundant decl of GC_push_one in gc_priv.h. - Added FINALIZE_ON_DEMAND. - Fixed some pre-ANSI cc problems in test.c. - Removed getpagesize() use for Solaris. It seems to be missing in one or two versions. - Fixed bool handling for SPARCCompiler version 4.2. - Fixed some files in include that had gotten unlinked from the main copy. - Some RS/6000 fixes (missing casts). Thanks to Toralf Foerster. - Fixed several problems in GC_debug_realloc, affecting mostly the FIND_LEAK case. - GC_exclude_static_roots contained a buggy unsigned comparison to terminate a loop. (Thanks to Wilson Ho.) - CORD_str failed if the substring occurred at the last possible position. (Only affects cord users.) - Fixed Linux code to deal with RedHat 5.0 and integrated Peter Bigot's os_dep.c code for dealing with various Linux versions. - Added workaround for Irix pthreads sigaction bug and possible signal misdirection problems. Since alpha1: - Changed RS6000 STACKBOTTOM. - Integrated Patrick Beard's Mac changes. - Alpha1 didn't compile on Irix m.n, m < 6. - Replaced Makefile.dj with a new one from Gary Leavens. - Added Andrew Stitcher's changes to support SCO OpenServer. - Added PRINT_BLACK_LIST, to allow debugging of high densities of false pointers. - Added code to debug allocator to keep track of return address in GC_malloc caller, thus giving a bit more context. - Changed default behavior of large block allocator to more aggressively avoid fragmentation. This is likely to slow down the collector when it succeeds at reducing space cost. - Integrated Fergus Henderson's CYGWIN32 changes. They are untested, but needed for newer versions. - USE_MMAP had some serious bugs. This caused the collector to fail consistently on Solaris with -DSMALL_CONFIG. - Added Linux threads support, thanks largely to Fergus Henderson. Since alpha2: - Fixed more Linux threads problems. - Changed default GC_free_space_divisor to 3 with new large block allocation. (Thanks to Matthew Flatt for some measurements that suggest the old value sometimes favors space too much over time.) - More CYGWIN32 fixes. - Integrated Tyson-Dowd's Linux-M68K port. - Minor HP PA and DEC UNIX fixes from Fergus Henderson. - Integrated Christoffe Raffali's Linux-SPARC changes. - Allowed for one more GC fixup iteration after a full GC in incremental mode. Some quick measurements suggested that this significantly reduces pause times even with smaller GC_RATE values. - Moved some more GC data structures into GC_arrays. This decreases pause times and GC overhead, but makes debugging slightly less convenient. - Fixed namespace pollution problem ("excl_table"). - Made GC_incremental a constant for -DSMALL_CONFIG, hopefully shrinking that slightly. - Added some win32 threads fixes. - Integrated Ivan Demakov and David Stes' Watcom fixes. - Various other minor fixes contributed by many people. - Renamed config.h to gcconfig.h, since config.h tends to be used for many other things. - Integrated Matthew Flatt's support for 68K MacOS "far globals". - Fixed up some of the dynamic library Makefile targets for consistency across platforms. - Fixed a USE_MMAP typo that caused out-of-memory handling to fail on Solaris. - Added code to test.c to test thread creation a bit more. - Integrated GC_win32_free_heap, as suggested by Ivan Demakov. - Fixed Solaris 2.7 stack base finding problem. (This may actually have been done in an earlier alpha release.) Since alpha3: - Fixed MSWIN32 recognition test, which interfered with cygwin. - Removed unnecessary gc_watcom.asm from distribution. Removed some obsolete README.win32 text. - Added Alpha Linux incremental GC support. (Thanks to Philipp Tomsich for code for retrieving the fault address in a signal handler.) Changed Linux signal handler context argument to be a pointer. - Took care of some new warnings generated by the 7.3 SGI compiler. - Integrated Phillip Musumeci's FreeBSD/ELF fixes. - -DIRIX_THREADS was broken with the -o32 ABI (typo in gc_priv.h> Since 4.13: - Fixed GC_print_source_ptr to not use a prototype. - generalized CYGWIN test. - gc::new did the wrong thing with PointerFreeGC placement. (Thanks to Rauli Ruohonen.) - In the ALL_INTERIOR_POINTERS (default) case, some callee-save register values could fail to be scanned if the register was saved and reused in a GC frame. This showed up in verbose mode with gctest compiled with an unreleased SGI compiler. I vaguely recall an old bug report that may have been related. The bug was probably quite old. (The problem was that the stack scanning could be deferred until after the relevant frame was overwritten, and the new save location might be outside the scanned area. Fixed by more eager stack scanning.) - PRINT_BLACK_LIST had some problems. A few source addresses were garbage. - Replaced Makefile.dj and added -I flags to cord make targets. (Thanks to Gary Leavens.) - GC_try_to_collect was broken with the nonincremental collector. - gc_cleanup destructors could pass the wrong address to GC_register_finalizer_ignore_self in the presence of multiple inheritance. (Thanks to Darrell Schiebel.) - Changed PowerPC Linux stack finding code. Since 4.14alpha1 - -DSMALL_CONFIG did not work reliably with large (> 4K) pages. Recycling the mark stack during expansion could result in a size zero heap segment, which confused things. (This was probably also an issue with the normal config and huge pages.) - Did more work to make sure that callee-save registers were scanned completely, even with the setjmp-based code. Added USE_GENERIC_PUSH_REGS macro to facilitate testing on machines I have access to. - Added code to explicitly push register contents for win32 threads. This seems to be necessary. (Thanks to Pierre de Rop.) Since 4.14alpha2 - changed STACKBOTTOM for DJGPP (Thanks to Salvador Eduardo Tropea). Since 4.14 - Reworked large block allocator. Now uses multiple doubly linked free lists to approximate best fit. - Changed heap expansion heuristic. Entirely free blocks are no longer counted towards the heap size. This seems to have a major impact on heap size stability; the old version could expand the heap way too much in the presence of large block fragmentation. - added -DGC_ASSERTIONS and some simple assertions inside the collector. This is mainlyt for collector debugging. - added -DUSE_MUNMAP to allow the heap to shrink. Suupported on only a few UNIX-like platforms for now. - added GC_dump_regions() for debugging of fragmentation issues. - Changed PowerPC pointer alignment under Linux to 4. (This needs checking by someone who has one. The suggestions came to me via a rather circuitous path.) - Changed the Linux/Alpha port to walk the data segment backwards until it encounters a SIGSEGV. The old way to find the start of the data segment broke with a recent release. - cordxtra.c needed to call GC_REGISTER_FINALIZER instead of GC_register_finalizer, so that it would continue to work with GC_DEBUG. - allochblk sometimes cleared the wrong block for debugging purposes when it dropped blacklisted blocks. This could result in spurious error reports with GC_DEBUG. - added MACOS X Server support. (Thanks to Andrew Stone.) - Changed the Solaris threads code to ignore stack limits > 8 MB with a warning. Empirically, it is not safe to access arbitrary pages in such large stacks. And the dirty bit implementation does not guarantee that none of them will be accessed. - Integrated Martin Tauchmann's Amiga changes. - Integrated James Dominy's OpenBSD/SPARC port. Since 5.0alpha1 - Fixed bugs introduced in alpha1 (OpenBSD & large block initialization). - Added -DKEEP_BACK_PTRS and backptr.h interface. (The implementation idea came from Al Demers.) Since 5.0alpha2 - Added some highly incomplete code to support a copied young generation. Comments on nursery.h are appreciated. - Changed -DFIND_LEAK, -DJAVA_FINALIZATION, and -DFINALIZE_ON_DEMAND, so the same effect could be obtained with a runtime switch. This is a step towards standardizing on a single dynamic GC library. - Significantly changed the way leak detection is handled, as a consequence of the above. To do: - Very large root set sizes (> 16 MB or so) could cause the collector to abort with an unexpected mark stack overflow. (Thanks again to Peter Chubb.) NOT YET FIXED. Workaround is to increase the initial size. - The SGI version of the collector marks from mmapped pages, even if they are not part of dynamic library static data areas. This causes performance problems with some SGI libraries that use mmap as a bitmap allocator. NOT YET FIXED. It may be possible to turn off DYNAMIC_LOADING in the collector as a workaround. It may also be possible to conditionally intercept mmap and use GC_exclude_static_roots. The real fix is to walk rld data structures, which looks possible. - Integrate MIT and DEC pthreads ports. - Deal with very uneven black-listing distributions. If all the black listed blocks reside in the newly allocated heap section, the heuristic for temporarily ignoring black-listing fails, and the heap grows too much. (This was observed in only one case, and could be worked around, but ...) - Some platform specific updates are waiting for 4.15alpha1.