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core.memory

This module provides an interface to the garbage collector used by applications written in the D programming language. It allows the garbage collector in the runtime to be swapped without affecting binary compatibility of applications.

Using this module is not necessary in typical D code. It is mostly useful when doing low-level memory management.

Notes to implementors:

License:
Boost License 1.0

Authors:
Sean Kelly, Alex Rønne Petersen

Source:
core/memory.d

struct GC;
This struct encapsulates all garbage collection functionality for the D programming language.

static nothrow void enable();
Enables automatic garbage collection behavior if collections have previously been suspended by a call to disable. This function is reentrant, and must be called once for every call to disable before automatic collections are enabled.

static nothrow void disable();
Disables automatic garbage collections performed to minimize the process footprint. Collections may continue to occur in instances where the implementation deems necessary for correct program behavior, such as during an out of memory condition. This function is reentrant, but enable must be called once for each call to disable.

static nothrow void collect();
Begins a full collection. While the meaning of this may change based on the garbage collector implementation, typical behavior is to scan all stack segments for roots, mark accessible memory blocks as alive, and then to reclaim free space. This action may need to suspend all running threads for at least part of the collection process.

static nothrow void minimize();
Indicates that the managed memory space be minimized by returning free physical memory to the operating system. The amount of free memory returned depends on the allocator design and on program behavior.

enum BlkAttr: uint;
Elements for a bit field representing memory block attributes. These are manipulated via the getAttr, setAttr, clrAttr functions.

NONE
No attributes set.

FINALIZE
Finalize the data in this block on collect.

NO_SCAN
Do not scan through this block on collect.

NO_MOVE
Do not move this memory block on collect.

APPENDABLE
This block contains the info to allow appending.

This can be used to manually allocate arrays. Initial slice size is 0.

Note:
The slice's useable size will not match the block size. Use capacity to retrieve actual useable capacity.

Example:
// Allocate the underlying array.
int*  pToArray = cast(int*)GC.malloc(10 * int.sizeof, GC.BlkAttr.NO_SCAN | GC.BlkAttr.APPENDABLE);
// Bind a slice. Check the slice has capacity information.
int[] slice = pToArray[0 .. 0];
assert(capacity(slice) > 0);
// Appending to the slice will not relocate it.
slice.length = 5;
slice ~= 1;
assert(slice.ptr == p);

NO_INTERIOR
This block is guaranteed to have a pointer to its base while it is alive. Interior pointers can be safely ignored. This attribute is useful for eliminating false pointers in very large data structures and is only implemented for data structures at least a page in size.

alias BlkInfo = .BlkInfo_;
Contains aggregate information about a block of managed memory. The purpose of this struct is to support a more efficient query style in instances where detailed information is needed.

base = A pointer to the base of the block in question. size = The size of the block, calculated from base. attr = Attribute bits set on the memory block.

static nothrow uint getAttr(in void* p);
static pure nothrow uint getAttr(void* p);
Returns a bit field representing all block attributes set for the memory referenced by p. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, points to the interior of a memory block, or if p is null, zero will be returned.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.

Returns:
A bit field containing any bits set for the memory block referenced by p or zero on error.

static nothrow uint setAttr(in void* p, uint a);
static pure nothrow uint setAttr(void* p, uint a);
Sets the specified bits for the memory references by p. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, points to the interior of a memory block, or if p is null, no action will be performed.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.
uint a A bit field containing any bits to set for this memory block.

Returns:
The result of a call to getAttr after the specified bits have been set.

static nothrow uint clrAttr(in void* p, uint a);
static pure nothrow uint clrAttr(void* p, uint a);
Clears the specified bits for the memory references by p. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, points to the interior of a memory block, or if p is null, no action will be performed.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.
uint a A bit field containing any bits to clear for this memory block.

Returns:
The result of a call to getAttr after the specified bits have been cleared.

static pure nothrow void* malloc(size_t sz, uint ba = 0);
Requests an aligned block of managed memory from the garbage collector. This memory may be deleted at will with a call to free, or it may be discarded and cleaned up automatically during a collection run. If allocation fails, this function will call onOutOfMemory which is expected to throw an OutOfMemoryError.

Parameters:
size_t sz The desired allocation size in bytes.
uint ba A bitmask of the attributes to set on this block.

Returns:
A reference to the allocated memory or null if insufficient memory is available.

Throws:
OutOfMemoryError on allocation failure.

static pure nothrow BlkInfo qalloc(size_t sz, uint ba = 0);
Requests an aligned block of managed memory from the garbage collector. This memory may be deleted at will with a call to free, or it may be discarded and cleaned up automatically during a collection run. If allocation fails, this function will call onOutOfMemory which is expected to throw an OutOfMemoryError.

Parameters:
size_t sz The desired allocation size in bytes.
uint ba A bitmask of the attributes to set on this block.

Returns:
Information regarding the allocated memory block or BlkInfo.init on error.

Throws:
OutOfMemoryError on allocation failure.

static pure nothrow void* calloc(size_t sz, uint ba = 0);
Requests an aligned block of managed memory from the garbage collector, which is initialized with all bits set to zero. This memory may be deleted at will with a call to free, or it may be discarded and cleaned up automatically during a collection run. If allocation fails, this function will call onOutOfMemory which is expected to throw an OutOfMemoryError.

Parameters:
size_t sz The desired allocation size in bytes.
uint ba A bitmask of the attributes to set on this block.

Returns:
A reference to the allocated memory or null if insufficient memory is available.

Throws:
OutOfMemoryError on allocation failure.

static pure nothrow void* realloc(void* p, size_t sz, uint ba = 0);
If sz is zero, the memory referenced by p will be deallocated as if by a call to free. A new memory block of size sz will then be allocated as if by a call to malloc, or the implementation may instead resize the memory block in place. The contents of the new memory block will be the same as the contents of the old memory block, up to the lesser of the new and old sizes. Note that existing memory will only be freed by realloc if sz is equal to zero. The garbage collector is otherwise expected to later reclaim the memory block if it is unused. If allocation fails, this function will call onOutOfMemory which is expected to throw an OutOfMemoryError. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, or if it points to the interior of a memory block, no action will be taken. If ba is zero (the default) and p references the head of a valid, known memory block then any bits set on the current block will be set on the new block if a reallocation is required. If ba is not zero and p references the head of a valid, known memory block then the bits in ba will replace those on the current memory block and will also be set on the new block if a reallocation is required.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.
size_t sz The desired allocation size in bytes.
uint ba A bitmask of the attributes to set on this block.

Returns:
A reference to the allocated memory on success or null if sz is zero. On failure, the original value of p is returned.

Throws:
OutOfMemoryError on allocation failure.

static pure nothrow size_t extend(void* p, size_t mx, size_t sz);
Requests that the managed memory block referenced by p be extended in place by at least mx bytes, with a desired extension of sz bytes. If an extension of the required size is not possible or if p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, no action will be taken.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.
size_t mx The minimum extension size in bytes.
size_t sz The desired extension size in bytes.

Returns:
The size in bytes of the extended memory block referenced by p or zero if no extension occurred.

Note:
Extend may also be used to extend slices (or memory blocks with APPENDABLE info). However, use the return value only as an indicator of success. capacity should be used to retrieve actual useable slice capacity.

Examples:
Standard extending
size_t size = 1000;
int* p = cast(int*)GC.malloc(size * int.sizeof, GC.BlkAttr.NO_SCAN);

//Try to extend the allocated data by 1000 elements, preferred 2000.
size_t u = GC.extend(p, 1000 * int.sizeof, 2000 * int.sizeof);
if (u != 0)
    size = u / int.sizeof;

Examples:
slice extending
int[] slice = new int[](1000);
int*  p     = slice.ptr;

//Check we have access to capacity before attempting the extend
if (slice.capacity)
{
    //Try to extend slice by 1000 elements, preferred 2000.
    size_t u = GC.extend(p, 1000 * int.sizeof, 2000 * int.sizeof);
    if (u != 0)
    {
        slice.length = slice.capacity;
        assert(slice.length >= 2000);
    }
}

static nothrow size_t reserve(size_t sz);
Requests that at least sz bytes of memory be obtained from the operating system and marked as free.

Parameters:
size_t sz The desired size in bytes.

Returns:
The actual number of bytes reserved or zero on error.

static pure nothrow void free(void* p);
Deallocates the memory referenced by p. If p is null, no action occurs. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, or if it points to the interior of a memory block, no action will be taken. The block will not be finalized regardless of whether the FINALIZE attribute is set. If finalization is desired, use delete instead.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.

static nothrow inout(void)* addrOf(inout(void)* p);
static pure nothrow void* addrOf(void* p);
Returns the base address of the memory block containing p. This value is useful to determine whether p is an interior pointer, and the result may be passed to routines such as sizeOf which may otherwise fail. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, if p is null, or if the garbage collector does not support this operation, null will be returned.

Parameters:
inout(void)* p A pointer to the root or the interior of a valid memory block or to null.

Returns:
The base address of the memory block referenced by p or null on error.

static nothrow size_t sizeOf(in void* p);
static pure nothrow size_t sizeOf(void* p);
Returns the true size of the memory block referenced by p. This value represents the maximum number of bytes for which a call to realloc may resize the existing block in place. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, points to the interior of a memory block, or if p is null, zero will be returned.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root of a valid memory block or to null.

Returns:
The size in bytes of the memory block referenced by p or zero on error.

static nothrow BlkInfo query(in void* p);
static pure nothrow BlkInfo query(void* p);
Returns aggregate information about the memory block containing p. If p references memory not originally allocated by this garbage collector, if p is null, or if the garbage collector does not support this operation, BlkInfo.init will be returned. Typically, support for this operation is dependent on support for addrOf.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to the root or the interior of a valid memory block or to null.

Returns:
Information regarding the memory block referenced by p or BlkInfo.init on error.

static nothrow void addRoot(in void* p);
Adds an internal root pointing to the GC memory block referenced by p. As a result, the block referenced by p itself and any blocks accessible via it will be considered live until the root is removed again.

If p is null, no operation is performed.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer into a GC-managed memory block or null.

Example:
// Typical C-style callback mechanism; the passed function
// is invoked with the user-supplied context pointer at a
// later point.
extern(C) void addCallback(void function(void*), void*);

// Allocate an object on the GC heap (this would usually be
// some application-specific context data).
auto context = new Object;

// Make sure that it is not collected even if it is no
// longer referenced from D code (stack, GC heap, …).
GC.addRoot(cast(void*)context);

// Also ensure that a moving collector does not relocate
// the object.
GC.setAttr(cast(void*)context, GC.BlkAttr.NO_MOVE);

// Now context can be safely passed to the C library.
addCallback(&myHandler, cast(void*)context);

extern(C) void myHandler(void* ctx)
{
    // Assuming that the callback is invoked only once, the
    // added root can be removed again now to allow the GC
    // to collect it later.
    GC.removeRoot(ctx);
    GC.clrAttr(ctx, GC.BlkAttr.NO_MOVE);

    auto context = cast(Object)ctx;
    // Use context here…
}

static nothrow void removeRoot(in void* p);
Removes the memory block referenced by p from an internal list of roots to be scanned during a collection. If p is null or is not a value previously passed to addRoot() then no operation is performed.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer into a GC-managed memory block or null.

static nothrow void addRange(in void* p, size_t sz);
Adds p[0 .. sz] to the list of memory ranges to be scanned for pointers during a collection. If p is null, no operation is performed.

Note that p[0 .. sz] is treated as an opaque range of memory assumed to be suitably managed by the caller. In particular, if p points into a GC-managed memory block, addRange does not mark this block as live.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to a valid memory address or to null.
size_t sz The size in bytes of the block to add. If sz is zero then the no operation will occur. If p is null then sz must be zero.

Example:
// Allocate a piece of memory on the C heap.
enum size = 1_000;
auto rawMemory = core.stdc.stdlib.malloc(size);

// Add it as a GC range.
GC.addRange(rawMemory, size);

// Now, pointers to GC-managed memory stored in
// rawMemory will be recognized on collection.

static nothrow void removeRange(in void* p);
Removes the memory range starting at p from an internal list of ranges to be scanned during a collection. If p is null or does not represent a value previously passed to addRange() then no operation is performed.

Parameters:
void* p A pointer to a valid memory address or to null.