Fast Generic Functions
This library introduces fast generic functions, i.e., functions that behave just like regular generic functions, except that the can be sealed on certain domains. If the compiler can then statically detect that the arguments to a fast generic function fall within this domain, it will perform a variety of optimizations.
Example 1 - Generic Find
(defgeneric generic-find (item sequence &key test) (:generic-function-class fast-generic-function)) (defmethod generic-find (item (list list) &key (test #'eql)) (and (member elt list :test test) t)) (defmethod generic-find (item (vector vector) &key (test #'eql)) (cl:find elt vector :test test)) (seal-domain #'generic-find '(t list)) (seal-domain #'generic-find '(t vector)) (defun small-prime-p (x) (generic-find x '(2 3 5 7 11))) ;; The call to GENERIC-FIND should have been replaced by a direct call to ;; the appropriate effective method. (disassemble #'small-prime-p)
It is even possible to inline the entire effective method into the call site. However, to avoid code bloat, this feature is disabled by default. To enable it, each method withing the sealed domain must contain an appropriate declaration, as shown in the next example.
Example 2 - Extensible Number Functions
(defgeneric binary-+ (x y) (:generic-function-class fast-generic-function)) (defmethod binary-+ ((x number) (y number)) (declare (method-properties inlineable)) (+ x y)) (seal-domain #'binary-+ '(number number))
It is easy to generalize such a binary function to a function that accepts any number of arguments:
(defun generic-+ (&rest things) (cond ((null things) 0) ((null (rest things)) (first things)) (t (reduce #'binary-+ things)))) (define-compiler-macro generic-+ (&rest things) (cond ((null things) 0) ((null (rest things)) (first things)) (t (reduce (lambda (a b) `(binary-+ ,a ,b)) things))))
With all this in place, we can use our
generic-+ function much like
Common Lisp’s built-in
+ without worrying about performance. The next
code snippet shows that in fact, each call to
generic-+ is inlined and
turned into a single
(disassemble (compile nil '(lambda (x y z) (declare (single-float x y z)) (generic-+ x y z)))) ;; disassembly for (lambda (x y z)) ;; Size: 38 bytes. Origin: #x52FD9354 ;; 54: 498B4510 mov RAX, [R13+16] ;; 58: 488945F8 mov [RBP-8], RAX ;; 5C: 0F28CC movaps XMM1, XMM4 ;; 5F: F30F58CB addss XMM1, XMM3 ;; 63: F30F58CA addss XMM1, XMM2 ;; 67: 660F7ECA movd EDX, XMM1 ;; 6B: 48C1E220 shl RDX, 32 ;; 6F: 80CA19 or DL, 25 ;; 72: 488BE5 mov RSP, RBP ;; 75: F8 clc ;; 76: 5D pop RBP ;; 77: C3 ret ;; 78: CC10 int3 16
Once a fast generic function has been sealed, it is not possible to add, remove, or redefine methods within the sealed domain. However, outside of the sealed domain, it behaves just like a standard generic function. That means we can extend its behavior, e.g., to allow addition of strings:
(defmethod binary-+ ((x string) (y string)) (concatenate 'string x y)) (generic-+ "foo" "bar" "baz") ;; => "foobarbaz"