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unexpected behavior from cglobal pointers #2501

emakman opened this issue Nov 19, 2018 · 1 comment


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commented Nov 19, 2018

I was playing around with the NCurses bindings and ran into an issue with a cglobal pointer.

The Problem

ncurses exports a variable pointer $stdscr, which is in turn accessed in the NCurses module by cglobal. (returning a class which is repr<CPointer>). When this in turn is plugged into native functions expecting the same pointer type (for example, the wrefresh function), it causes a segfault.

Expected Behavior

The standard ncurses refresh() function should behave exactly the same as wrefresh(stdscr) (in fact is a macro defined as wrefresh(stdscr)); the contents of the screen should be updated. In particular, I do not expect a segfault.

Actual Behavior

The program unexpectedly crashes.

Output (run with perl6 --ll-exception):
Segmentation fault (core dumped)

Steps to Reproduce

The issue with NCurses can be reproduced with the following code:

use NCurses;
initscr; endwin; # This guarantees sure stdscr has been set.

The corresponding C code compiles and executes correctly.

I seem to be able to avoid the problem if I avoid using cglobal pointers. The following executes as expected:

use NCurses;
use NativeCall;
initscr; endwin;
my \intptr_t = (nativesizeof(Pointer) == 8) ?? int64 !! int32;
my $stdscr := cglobal(library,'stdscr',intptr_t);


  • Operating system:
    Arch Linux (4.18.16-arch1-1-ARCH)
  • Compiler version (perl6 -v):
    Rakudo version 2018.10-163-g50f0fce9b built on MoarVM version 2018.10-81-g7ba02259b
    implementing Perl 6.d.

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commented Nov 19, 2018

OK, after playing around, I have a better minimal example:

in libtest.c (compiled with gcc libtest.c --shared -fPIC):

int a;
extern int *x = &a;
void SET() { a = 3; }
void GET(int *t) { return *t; }

in test.pl6:

use NativeCall;

my \LIB = 'PATH/TO/';
my $x := cglobal(LIB,'x',Pointer);
my \interptr_t = (nativesizeof(Pointer) == 8) ?? int64 !! int32;
my $intx := cglobal(LIB,'x',intptr_t);

sub SET() is native{LIB} {*};
sub GET(Pointer) returns int32 is native{LIB} {*};
GET($x).say; # returns a random integer value;
GET($intx)).say; # returns 3.

No segfault this time, but the cglobal pointer in $x still seems to be erroneous. I was hesitant o give this example originally because I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to C shared libraries, but I still would have expected GET($x) to return 3.

@emakman emakman closed this Nov 19, 2018

@emakman emakman reopened this Nov 19, 2018

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